VietNamNet Bridge – Indochina Airlines and Air Mekong have been called the
“courageous heroes,” because they are the first private airlines that fly in the
sky. However, in the aviation sector, courage is not enough to help someone
President of BIM Group Doan Quoc Viet
Indochina Airlines, the first private airline in Vietnam, has finally shut down
after a long period of struggling to survive. Air Mekong has halted its
commercial flights since February 28 to start the period of restructuring as it
announced. Due to the low demand, the air carrier has incurred a big loss, while
the airfares cannot cover the operation costs.
Air Mekong said it plans to replace the current fleet comprising of four
Bombardier CRJ900’s which can carry 40 passengers, with bigger aircrafts, in a
hope to improve its business performance.
As such, only Vietjet Air still has been flying as a private airline.
Analysts say in the current conditions, the most important thing one must have
when joining the aviation market is the powerful financial capability.
Vietnamese has a saying: “in doing business, long term powerful capital is
better than good skills.” This is really true to the domestic aviation industry.
In order to exist and develop, analysts say, private airlines need to have firm
Indochina Airlines was believed to taste defeat because it didn’t have financial
power. The founder of the air carrier, Ha Dung, who has been well known in
Vietnam as a famous musician, failed to call on shareholders to pour money to
rescue the airline when it met difficulties.
Lai Xuan Thanh, Head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, once said in a
meeting with the press: “the airlines in the world all know the saying: “It
would be very easy for airline developers to become millionaires if you are
billionaires.” This means that before joining the market, one should understand
that he needs to have enough capital and patience to survive the big losses he
would incur in the first many years of operation.
Meanwhile, Vietjet Air has been backed by Sovico Holdings and HD Bank. What
about Air Mekong? The question has raise curiosity, because the name of the big
guy that supports Air Mekong can partially say about the fate of Air Mekong.
The answer is BIM Group.
BIM Group introduces itself as a production investment and development,
headquartered in Ha Long City of Quang Ninh province. This is a private run
company, established in 1994.
The President of BIM Group is Doan Quoc Viet, a Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese)
who has returned to Vitnam to do business after a long period of living and
doing business in Poland. Before joining the aviation market, BIM Group had been
known as the runner of Ha Long Plaza Hotel.
BIM group has many subsidiaries and associate companies operating in many
business fields, including the real estate development and management, tourism
services, aquaculture, salt production and transportation services.
Besides Air Mekong, BIM Group also has BIM Seafood, zpizza, Halong Plaza Hotel,
Halong Marine Plaza, Halong Marina, Syrena Tower, Ninh Thuan salt production,
and Syrena complex in Hanoi which includes Fraser Suites Hanoi of FraserNeave,
Elite Fitness Spa Club and Syrena shopping mall.
BIM is a well-known name in the real estate market. It is the owner of the Hung
Thang urban area (Ha Long Marina), Ha Long Marine Plaza in Ha Long City, and
some other projects.
BIM Seafood specializes in processing shrimp, oyster and exporting frozen
seafood products. By the end of 2010, BIM Group had possessed 16 million SHB
shares, or 4.6 percent of the total stakes of SHB Bank.