Vietnam will be one of Asia’s boomingair freight markets in the near future,predicts Do Xuan Quang, managingdirector of Ho Chi Minh City-basedGSA Vector Aviation.
"Every year, Vietnam is seeing 22 percentgrowth in exports and air freightexports are growing by 15 percent ayear," he says. "Last yearVietnam saw total exportsof $40bn, which comparesto $115bn from India.
So there are very favourableconditions for cargoairlines who come to Vietnam."Carriers that arealready taking advantageof the opportunity includeKorean Air, EVA Air, ChinaAirlines and Shanghai Airlines,all of whom fly widebodyfreighters into Vietnam. "But theyare focusing on long-haul shipments toEurope and the west coast of the US,"says Quang.
"Our aim at Vector Aviation is tofocus on feeder services, for exampleto Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singaporeand Taipei." Vector Aviation emerged asan independent company in 2004 from Vinatrans, the former state forwardingand logistics company, when theVietnamese government liberalised thecargo industry according to WTO rules.The company offers cargo and passengerGSA services, ground handling,charter brokering, aircraft leasing andcargo consultancy.
"If a freighter operator wants tocome to Vietnam, we can arrange licences for them," says Quang. "We can also help them to wet-lease aircraft, such as B727s or AN12s."
However, the cargo GSA business isthe major focus for the company, whichrepresents Transmile, Malaysian Airlines,China Southern and Transaeroonline, and LTU Leisure Cargo andAerosivit of the Ukraine offline.
Transmile flies B727-200 freightersfive times a week into Ho Chi MinhCity, but Vector’s other cargo customersare belly operators. Malaysian Airlines,for example, flies daily to Hanoi anddouble daily to Ho Chi Minh City, whileTransaero flies from Moscow to Ho ChiMinh City.Meanwhile, cargo for LeisureCargo, the cargo arm of theLTU group of holiday operators,is fed by Vector Aviationinto Bangkok, and the sameis true for Aerosivit.
Garments and textilesdominate outbound traffic,accounting for 40 percent ofvolumes, according to Quang,with shoes, electrical assembly,frozen seafood and livestockbeing other key export commoditiesfor air cargo.
Vector Aviation joined FAGSA, theFederation of General Sales Agents, ayear ago, and Quang says it has proveda useful move for the company.
"They are a good source of informationand advice," he says. "We exchange ideas with other members and find the meetings a good place to network."
Â¨C Peter Conway