Thai VietJetAir, an airline venture between Vietnam’s VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co. (VietJetAir) and its Thai partner, is proceeding with a plan to launch services in the third quarter of this year, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

A leader of VietJetAir confirmed the plan when reached by the Daily after the no-frills carrier took delivery of more Airbus A320 aircraft to meet surging summer travel demand on the domestic market and facilitate future expansion.

VietJetAir has expanded its all-Airbus-A320 fleet to 15 last week when it took delivery of three new jetliners. The second largest carrier in Vietnam after the nation’s flagship Vietnam Airlines plans to take delivery of three more aircraft toward the end of this year when the low-cost airline joint venture launches its services.

One year ago, VietJetAir inked a memorandum of understanding with Kan Air to form an aviation joint venture headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, with registered capital of some 6.5 million USD. The Vietnamese side owns 49 percent of this venture.

VietJetAir told the Daily after the deal signing last year that Thai VietJetAir had plans to operate domestic and international flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport this year, with two to three Airbus A320s.

The joint venture is part of part of VietJetAir’s strategy to expand its operations in Asia and offer more options for passengers, particularly those in Vietnam and Thailand, to travel to Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and other destinations in the region.

VietJetAir started to fly in Vietnam in December 2011 before launching daily service between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok in February last year and the Hanoi-Bangkok route in June in the same year. Currently, the carrier conducts more than 700 domestic and international flights a week.

VietJetAir said the three new Airbus A320 aircraft would enable it to provide the market with more than 37,800 seats a week in summer, particularly for those routes to tourist sites in coastal areas. In late May, the airline commenced flights between Hanoi and Phu Quoc Island off mainland Kien Giang province.

Earlier, Vietnam Airlines said it would operate 2,717 more flights with more than 500,000 seats on 16 domestic and international routes from June 15 to August 15. Seating capacity of the airline in this period is put at 4.2 million, up more than 14 percent compared to normal days and 17 percent over the same period last year.-VNA