Vietjet Airlines: The Stunning Stories of the People Who Have Realised the Dreams of Flying Become Reality in Vietnam

‘ASEAN Entrepreneur Award’ was co-organised by the ASEAN-Korea Centre (AKC) and Maekyung Media Group on 11 October 2018 as one of the sessions in the 19th World Knowledge Forum .The award was given to Vietjet Airlines, the largest airline in Vietnam and Traveloka, an Indonesian travel booking startup,. In this special session, ASEAN students studying in Korea were also invited.

The invited speaker for the Vietjet Airlines’ special session was Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh, Vice President of Vietjet Airlines. The session was composed of the following agendas, △Why Vietjet Airlines has higher rate of women as Board Members?, △Vietjet Airlines’ international strategies, △Vietjet Airlines’ core strategies for business growth, △Vietjet Airlines’ business know-how to maintain profitability and how to sustain the status quo, △Vietjet Airlines’ investment plans, △How the telecommunication career background of Vice President Binh has been applied to the airline management, Vietjet Airlines’ perspectives on the Korean aviation market, △Vietjet Airlines’ particular customer service, △Vietjet Airlines’ management philosophy.
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The session was held with Vietjet Airlines under the theme, ‘Why the Thought “Dream Will Make the Change of the World” Made Vietjet’s Success in the Asia?’ The session was moderated by Ms. Jessy-Yeunju Jang, Deputy Secretary General of the AKC and Head of Information and Data Unit. Ms. Jang said that “the AKC is an inter-governmental organisation mandated to promote economic and socio-cultural cooperation between the 10 ASEAN Member States and Korea. Last year in November, South Korean President Moon Jae In announced the New Southern Policy. Ever since, there has been considerable increases in Korea-ASEAN relations. ASEAN is a second largest trading partner to Korea and more than 7.5 million Korean people have visited the ASEAN region for tourism and business purposes.

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Higher Rates of Women as Board Members

Ms. Jang asked the Vice President Binh, “the CEO of Vietjet Airlines is female and you are a woman too. We heard that around 40% of the Members of Board of Directors are women. It is considerably higher than the other airlines, in which has 5% of women directors in Board. Would you be able to explain how Vietjet Airlines started with a female CEO?”

Vice President Binh, opined that “women have confidence and they pursue their dreams as well. Women can also provide inspiration to other people to lead a way to improve society, community and people. Sometimes women can be flexible than men in generating ideas and women work together just like men do in the workplace. Anyone who has willingness to challenge can change the world and make this world a better place. I believe that it is those women who have ambitions to realise their dreams created Vietjet Airlines.”

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Vietjet Airlines’ International Strategies for Growth

Subsequent questions regarding the secret formula of the remarkable growth and profitability strategies of Vietjet Airlines were asked. Vice President Binh, emphasised the quantitative result of management. Vietjet Airlines has made dreams of Vietnamese people to fly reality. The percentage of Vietnamese population flying has risen from 15% to 30%. The airline has created a demand and attracted a pool of new customers to the market, therefore, is not afraid of competition and responses from established market leading airlines. It also makes tremendous investment on purchasing modern aircraft which have a higher rate of aerodynamic efficiency to reduce the net fuel consumption. On top of that, Vietjet Airlines maximises the use of capacity of cabin space to increase the number of passengers carried.

Furthermore, Vice President Binh, said that safely arriving at the promised service time according to the schedule is the Vietjet Airlines’ top priority. Non-human factors such as weather and natural disasters cannot be avoided but they closely work with air traffic controllers and relevant officials at airport to maintain punctuality records.

Vietjet Airlines Vice President Binh’s Telecommunication Background

Ms. Jang asked a further question on the career history of Vice Presidnet Binh before joining Vietjet Airlines. Ms. Binh explained that her career history starts from telecommunication industry. The Vietjet Airline CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao told her that she wants Ms Binh to be part of making the dreams of Vietnamese people flying come true. Air transport was a thing of luxury in the past but it is actually one type of transport among many. In that sense, Vietjet Airlines business model contains significant meaning within Vietnam. She said she has also adopted new technologies to Vietjet Airlines. Mobile marketing is a by-product created owing to the proliferation of smartphone devices. This is just one example of applying her telecommunication background in facilitating a new method of marketing.  
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Vietjet Airlines’ Perspective of the Korean Market

Next, Ms. Jang asked “Vietjet Airlines’ perspective of the Korean market considering the trend that Korean passengers are infamous for notoriously demanding high quality service, especially, satisfying Korean ladies’ service standard and expectation is a strenuous task.”

Vice President Binh, said that “Korean Wave has exceeded its soft power and the ballooning passion about Korea has developed into interests in Kimchi and Kimbap. Since then many Korean restaurants have appeared on Vietnamese high street. Vietjet Airlines was inspired by Korean Wave and set a goal of expanding flights to Korea. Those who dream about making visitation to Korea want to eat Kimchi and Kimbap in Korea, just like celebrities did in a drama, ‘Winter Sonata’.”

Vietjet Airlines’ Unique Customer Service and Management Philosophy

Ms. Binh also emphasized that Vietjet Airlines will always work hard to improve customer service experience. Vietjet Airline’s sincere and truthful customer service starts from the heart. Vietjet Airlines’ management philosophy is happiness and they provide exuberant energy to the passengers. These are reflected on their special event programmes on board to give them priceless moment in their life. In another occasion, some couples enjoy wedding ceremonies on the flight. Vietjet designed the cabin like a wedding hall and decorated with objects and components. They also invited a violinist who played music and passengers were filled with contentment and satisfaction. People are moved by small things and the effect of the happiness continues to resonate longer. She said, “I may say that life is easy in a sense that everyone has a right to feel happy. Vietjet Airlines respects for mankind and this is our management philosophy”.

Relating to the management philosophy of Vietjet Airlines, Ms. Jang allowed Vice President Binh to talk about corporate social responsibility (CSR). Vice President Binh said that “Vietjet Airlines has sent an aid team to the Indonesian region where devastating consequences of natural calamity have been inflicted on. Vietjet Airlines’ management culture has respect for mankind as a key pillar. We have a diverse pool of talented individuals as pilots, cabin crews, office managers and ground staff, and they are all from different walks of life across the global community. We are a community and the provision of aid to the places where most needed is highly integrated into the management practices.”

In a Q&A session, Vice President Binh replied to a question from the floor by saying that “Vietjet Airlines so far has around 56 fleets. Airports in Vietnam will rise from 17 to 26 in the forthcoming years and the coverage of Vietjet Airlines is not sufficient to catch the growing demand of Vietnam. Moreover, we have to realise the dreams of making Vietnamese people fly and Vietjet Airlines will expand more routes to other major destinations. The focused countries are currently China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. We are aiming to open one route every month and expand the flight network to provide seamless service coverage and accomplish our fundamental business philosophy.

Those who would like to visit the Centre may send their inquiries to visit@aseankorea.org or contact the Centre by calling +82-2-2287-1177.

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