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​VietJet again hints at overseas listing

Low-cost carrier VietJet Air is still interested in an overseas listing, with three options on the table.

Stock exchanges in London, Hong Kong, and Singapore have all expressed interest in a secondary VietJet listing, says Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao in a television interview.

"We don’t want to hide our hope of becoming the first Vietnamese company to list shares overseas," she says.

"Listing overseas on big markets will increase our access to more funding sources, boost trading of our stock, and expand our list of investors. So we hope to get more information from foreign stock exchanges, so we can study thoroughly and select better."

VietJet was listed on the Ho Chi Minh stock exchange in February. It has long held out the prospect of an overseas IPO. In May 2014 a company official told FlightGlobal that it would look to have an IPO in either Singapore or Hong Kong in the fourth quarter of 2015, but this never occurred.

In a 2015 interview, the same official said that Singapore was favoured.

Nguyen added that the carrier still sees the need for more aircraft, despite its large order book. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that VietJet has 40 Airbus A320 family aircraft in service. It has orders for 194 aircraft: 94 A320 family jets, mostly the re-engined A320neo variants, and 100 Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft.

"There is a big demand for more airplanes in Vietnam, which has about 100 million people while we have only 130 planes," she says. "This is low compared to other regional markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, or Thailand. "

Nguyen added that the company is still interested in long-haul, low-cost – a concept the company has flirted with in recent years.

"Long-haul is the ultimate goal and dream of airlines, especially budget airlines," she says.

"We do have a plan to develop long-haul flights and the first step is increasing cooperation through codesharing and interlining with other airlines that have long-haul services."

She added that talks are underway with overseas parties.

Flight Schedules data shows that VietJet has no codeshare partners. It's only alliance is with Indian low-cost carrier Air Costa, with which it has a memorandum of understanding to explore opportunities between India and Vietnam. Air Costa, however, indefinitely suspended its operation in March.

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