Cessna air taxi service planned for Vietnam

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Vietnamese company Security Equipment Supplies (SES) is talking to potential partners, including Vietnam Airlines’ Vietnam Air Services (VASCO), about working together to operate an air taxi service in Vietnam using Cessna aircraft.

SES has spoken to three potential partners including VASCO about operating an air taxi service, the head of SES, Salom Saphyr, says from Hanoi.

“We [plan] to operate one or more executive jets, probably more, and one or two Cessna Caravans,” says Saphyr, adding that he is interested in is the Cessna Citation XLS.

The jet aircraft would primarily be used for corporate charters and the Cessna 208 Caravans would be for tourism charters and special missions such as aerial photography, says Saphyr.

Currently there are no business jets registered in Vietnam but Saphyr says “now is the right time” to develop business aviation in the country.

SES already has some aviation experience in Vietnam because from 1992-94 it operated an air taxi service in partnership with VASCO using a Britten-Norman Islander and a Cessna 185, says Saphyr.

But the partnership ended because in 1994 VASCO bought a Raytheon Beech Super King Air and used that aircraft instead, he adds.

VASCO comes under Vietnam Airlines and mostly does passenger charters and cargo flights but in more recent times has taken over some of the national carrier’s scheduled passenger services on smaller domestic routes.

It operates the scheduled passenger flights using two ATR 72s from Vietnam Airlines and for charters and cargo flights it uses various aircraft such as a Convair 580 and the King Air.