By Kalai Raajan
Sun Group Set to Launch First Vietnamese ‘Luxury’ Airline
Sun Group, a real estate and entertainment corporation, has founded Sun Air, Vietnam’s first luxury airline, offering private jet management and air charter services, as well as tourist trips using helicopters and seaplanes. Sun Air is the first airline in Vietnam to cater completely to the luxury travel segment, primarily targeting domestic and international jet setters and high-fliers who desire ‘the best of the best’ when flying. On March 2, it was granted an aviation business license by Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport.
Sun Group Chairman, Dang Minh Truong stated that the airline’s launch is part of the company’s long-term development strategy, adding a new product to its high-quality ecosystem and motivating the expansion of the high-end segment in the Vietnamese aviation sector.
Sun Air will join Sun Group’s resort-entertainment-real estate businesses with its charter flight and sightseeing services using helicopters and seaplanes to produce Vietnam’s first near, safe, luxury, and exclusive service.
Sun Air will operate Gulfstream G650ER and G700 business jets, the world’s fastest, high-altitude, long-range jet aircraft with ranges of up to 51,000ft (15,545m) and 7,500 nautical miles (13,890km). The jets have a top speed of 1,142km/h, which means they could fly nonstop from Hanoi to Los Angeles in roughly 12.5-13 hours.
Whether going for business or pleasure, or a little of both, Sun Air customers will undoubtedly travel in style while relaxing in a Gulfstream G650ER or Gulfstream G700, the type of cutting-edge business aircraft favored by billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
Sun Air will operate two Gulfstream G650ER jets, each capable of carrying 11 to 18 passengers, beginning in the third quarter of this year, according to its schedule. The airline intends to put four Gulfstream G650ERs, one Gulfstream G700, one helicopter, and two seaplanes into operation between 2023 and 2025.
To create exceptional experiences for customers, the airline is working with companies like Agusta, Airbus, Sikorsky, De Havilland Canada, Cessna, and Textron. Sun Air has also opted to collaborate with the world’s premier flight service providers, such as Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, in order to elevate customers’ flying experiences to the next level.
The airline’s inauguration comes at a time when there is a growing global demand for more exclusive travel experiences, a trend driven by the two-year-long COVID-19 pandemic. Private aviation has rebounded faster than many other industries, according to a market study analysis by aviation consulting firm ARGUS International. Indeed, private jet travel has increased by 15% compared to the pre-pandemic period.
“We’re extremely excited to launch Sun Air, which will be a pioneer for luxury air travel in Vietnam and across the region,” says Dang Minh Truong, chairman of the board of directors at Sun Group.
“It will be a key part of our ecosystem of ‘Quality – Excellent – Distinguished’ products and services and further contribute to the development of the luxury travel segment in Vietnam, a country which now attracts wealthy tourists from all around the world.”
Sun Air will connect all of the best products within Sun Group’s ecosystem of luxury resorts, entertainment complexes, and real estate products, according to Truong.
The airline will be based at Vân Đồn International Airport in Qung Ninh Province and will have an initial capital of $4.37 million. Sun Group constructed Vân Đồn, Vietnam’s first privately funded airport.
Its passenger markets include Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and Japan, with flights intended at capitalist practitioners who require flights for project surveys, medical treatment, sightseeing, tourism, or luxury resort excursions. Sun Air also plans to deploy larger, long-haul business jets from Boeing and Airbus in the future, though the timeline is uncertain.
It will join Vietnam’s six existing domestic carriers, which include Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Pacific Airlines, VASCO, Bamboo Airways, and Vietravel Airlines, which was the market’s last newcomer. Sun Air’s long-term goal is to raise high-end air travel in Vietnam while flying the flag for the country’s premium tourism sector.