Vinpearl Air has said that it can send four officers, Bamboo Airways can send two, and Vietravel Airlines and Kite Air, one each. Of the four, Bamboo Airways is the only operating airline, while the remaining have applied for commercial licenses.
The proposal follows information that the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) needs seven more flight safety officers by next year to supervise more aircraft. With the skies getting more crowded as more carriers enter the fray
CAAV now has 49 aviation safety officers, in which only four are working full time. They supervise a total of 256 aircraft, and this number is set to increase to 295 next year.
CAAV said that it is reviewing the proposal, and the flight safety team will increase to 12 people if the new staff meet all required qualifications.
Booming demand for air travel in Vietnam has prompted existing airlines to expand their fleets while new players seek to enter the market.
Private airline Bamboo Airways was the latest to be permitted to increase its fleet from 10 to 30.
National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to invest $3.7 billion in 2021-2025 to get 50 new narrow-body aircraft. It is currently operating 61 narrow-body jets, of which 26 will run out of lease between 2021-2025.
Budget airline Vietjet, which operates 66 Airbus jets, recently ordered 15 new A321XLR jetliners from Airbus, according to Reuters.
As the number of aircraft operated by Vietnamese carriers is estimated to reach 449 in 2025, CAAV estimates it will need to have 86 aviation safety officers then, an increase of 37 from now.
Vietnam now has six airlines: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), Bamboo Airways and Vietstar Airline, which received permission in July.
Vietravel Airlines, along with KiteAir – a unit of hospitality firm Thien Minh Group, and Vinpearl Air – a unit of conglomerate Vingroup, are vying to be the seventh.
Local airlines served almost 50 million passengers last year, up 10.1 percent from 2017, according to CAAV.