How did Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao build Vietjet Air?

VietNamNet Bridge - With Vietjet Air, Thao did not hesitate to attract attention and stir controversy.


How did Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao build Vietjet Air?, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

VietJet CEO Phuong Thao (red gown) at the signing ceremony to purchase 100 Boeing aircraft, with the witness of President Tran Duc Quang and US President Barack Obama.


Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is a petite woman, with a sweet smile. She always answers questions in a soft voice. But according to CNBC, one should not be "fooled" by her appearance, because she is not an ordinary woman.

As the founder and CEO of Vietjet Air, Thao brought Vietnam’s only private low-cost carrier to rapid development in less than 5 years. Its passenger number may surpass that of the national airlines Vietnam Airlines.

The bikini story

"When my first son was only a few months old, I began to learn about low-cost airlines," Thao, 45, told CNBC.

"I spent 10 years researching the field of aviation, met with the CEOs of the low-cost airlines such as Jetstar, Air Asia, and Southwest Airlines," she said.

At that time the aviation industry was a relatively new field with Thao, who initially got rich in the real estate business. The key to her success was determining the right time.

Before Vietjet made its maiden flight in December 2011, Vietnam did not have any private low-cost carrier.

Meanwhile, the middle class in Vietnam was growing more rapidly, and the government opened the door for the aviation industry to create competition.

In 2012, Vietjet made the headlines of local newspapers when it employed flight attendants in bikinis. They do not wear bikinis now but it does not mean that this approach will not be applied again.

"If a good image makes our customers happy, we will always try our best," Thao said.

Regarding criticism that Vietjet used women as an advertising tool, Thao said: "In the world today there are many beauty contests in which candidates wear bikinis in competition. Bikinis show the beauty of women. Our message at Vietjet is we do this for beauty and joy."

IPO plan

Vietjet’s main market is the domestic market. The airline currently offers 34 domestic and 16 international routes, including flights to Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.

With its ambitious expansion plan, Vietjet is believed to have a plan for an initial public offering (IPO) this year.

Thao did not disclose the amount of capital Vietjet planned to raise from the IPO, or the percentage of shares sold in the issuance.

However, she said her plan is to expand into international markets in North Asia and Northeast Asia, with flights lasting 5-6 hours from Vietnam. Such plans can include flights to China, Russia and Japan (Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka).

The IPO will help promote Vietjet plan on raising the number of aircraft from 36 A320 and A321 to 45 planes in 2016. Vietjet also wants to have two more domestic routes and 18 international routes.

Thao did not mind expressing admiration for the Emirates Airline based in Dubai, and she aims to turn Vietjet into "Asia's Emirates".

"They have a global vision. Emirates is an airline of a small country, but it wants to dominate the world," she said.

Thao acknowledged that dominating the global market means shifting from the model of low-cost airline, but she believes that she can be successful without losing the core customers who are very sensitive to prices of Vietjet.

"We can both enhance cost efficiency, while providing high-quality services," Thao said. "Vietjet is confident that our service quality is not inferior to the other airlines in the world."

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Vietnam may have first female USD billionaire 

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How did Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao build Vietjet Air?, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news
 
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