Vietnam’s IPP Air Cargo is abandoning its launch plans, apparently due to concerns about weakening demand for air cargo and an uncertain economic outlook. 

According to media reports from Vietnam, the board of Imex Pan Pacific Group (IPP) – IPP Air Cargo’s parent – decided on 26 October that it would drop plans to launch the carrier, and has notified Vietnam’s transport ministry that it seeks to end the licensing process.

IPP Air Cargo 737-800BCF

Source: IPP Air Cargo

IPP Air Cargo’s first 737-800BCF

IPP Air Cargo was understood to be very close to launching with four Boeing 737-800BCFs converted by GAMECO.

Vietnam media outlet VnExpress quotes IPP chairman Jonathan Hanh Nguyen as having the view that current “global turmoil” would hurt demand for air cargo.

“Thus we have decided to end our plan to avoid causing more damage to carriers that are already making losses,” he is quoted as saying.

He also held out the possibility that, in the future, IPP might revisit the launch of an air cargo operator.

FlightGlobal has reached out to luxury group IPP for comment.

IPP Air Cargo’s ownership might also have been an issue. In recent months media reports from Vietnam have indicated that there were possible licensing concerns around the nationalities of the carrier’s owners - specifically owners who might have dual citizenships.

According to VnExpress, IPP Air Cargo’s ownership comprises Nguyen, a prominent businessman in Vietnam who started his career in the Philippines, his wife Nguyen Phi Long, and his son William Hieu Nguyen. Also listed as an owner is Vietnamese politician and communist party member Nguyen Phi Long, representing Duy Anh Commerce.

In August, industry executive Brian Thomas Hogan – who was advising IPP Air Cargo at the time – posted on social media that the first 737-800BCF conversion had been completed, with a second underway, and a third and fourth to follow.

Hogan also said that the carrier, touted as Vietnam’s first cargo carrier, aimed to add four Airbus A330-300Fs and six 777Fs within three years.

In 2021, IPP said that the launch of the cargo operation would entail the investment of $100 million.