Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet and express giant UPS are partnering to leverage each other’s global and regional cargo networks further growing trade lanes from Asia to the US.
The agreement provides Vietjet with access to UPS’s extensive global network via UPS’s fleet of ‘browntails’ while UPS will be able to tap Vietjet’s extensive reach within Vietnam, Thailand, and across the Asia region, to serve businesses in more areas with greater expediency.
UPS and Vietjet operated their first joint cargo flight on 26 September from Hanoi (HAN) to the US with a stop in Incheon (ICN), South Korea. The service, utilising UPS aircraft, has been operated with one service per week since then.
The transported cargo, including garment products, seafood, medical commodities, and other general cargo, are consolidated from all Vietjet’s hubs in Vietnam, Thailand, and other Asian destinations to Hanoi.
Both carriers have also conducted cargo flights between Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Malaysia using UPS aircraft as well as joining hands for cargo transportation on Vietjet’s flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
“The agreement with Vietjet comes at a significant time for trade in Vietnam,” says Russell Reed, managing director of UPS Vietnam and Thailand. “As Vietnam’s economy embraces growth momentum, the country is poised to benefit from shifts in global manufacturing and trade flows, and UPS, together with Vietjet, hope to expand import and export opportunities for businesses of all sizes in Vietnam, enabling them to trade with greater ease and confidence on a global scale.”
Prior to the agreement, Vietjet and UPS Express have partnered to handle cargo on Thai Vietjet’s return COB (cargo on board) flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok (BKK).
“Besides operating an expanding passenger flight network in Vietnam and Thailand, Vietjet has been one of the first airlines in Asia to navigate towards air cargo as part of a new business strategy being unfolded in response to the global pandemic,” says Do Xuan Quang, Vietjet Cargo CEO.
“The cooperation with UPS paves the way for Vietjet to make Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok regional logistics hubs for one-stop-shop cargo transportation services from Asia to western destinations as we further expand our domestic flight network in the countries and boost international services not just within Southeast Asia but also in Northeast Asia.”
Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to be approved to deploy cargo operations in the passenger cabin (CIPC) and have conducted international cargo flights among Vietnam and Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. New flights to Taiwan from Vietnam and Thailand are also planned while increasing flight frequency on current routes.
As at March 2020 Vietjet had a fleet of 22 A320-200s, 39 A321-200s, 14 A321neos with orders for 20 A321XLRs, 20 B737 MAX 8, 80 B737 MAX 10 and 100 B737 MAX 200. Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the carrier operated a network of 17 domestic destinations and 23 international mainly in Southeast and Northeast Asia as well as the Indian cities of Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM).