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AirAsia Once Again Gives up Plan to Launch New Airline in Vietnam

The deal marks the Malaysian-based budget carrier's fourth failure in the Vietnam aviation market.

On April 17, AirAsia announced in a statement that it has canceled an agreement with Gumin Company Ltd. and Hai Au Aviation to set up a low-cost airline in Vietnam, Straits Times reports. The new carrier was supposed to take off in August this year.

Despite the partnership termination, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said that his company is still interested in operating a low-budget carrier in Vietnam.

"Vietnam is very much in the plan. I am still optimistic of AirAsia being in Vietnam by [the] end of the year. Watch this space. Picking the right one," Fernandes tweeted.

Previous AirAsia attempts to set up a carrier in Vietnam dated back to 2005, when the Malaysian carrier proposed to invest in Pacific Airlines (now Jetstar Pacific). The deal failed due to disagreements between both parties.

AirAsia tried again in August 2007 with a partnership with Vietnamese shipbuilder Vinashin. However, Vinashin couldn't get approval from the government to expand to aviation, according to the news source. Then, in February 2010, AirAsia expressed its desire to buy a 30% stake in VietJet, but the plan was canceled because the carrier and the government disagreed on the usage of the AirAsia brand in the market.

[Photo via SME]

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