Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) – the first sale of stock to the public - in the third quarter of this year.

As of December 31, 2013, the State-owned corporation was valued at more than 57 trillion VND (over 2.7 billion USD), according to the Ministry of Transport.

The value will serve as a basis for the carrier in its equitisation process, which is expected to be approved by the Government at the end of the second quarter of 2014.

Vietnam Airlines, an official member of Sky Team Alliance since June 2010, is the only one left among the six regional flag carriers of the organisation that is not publicly listed.

It now operates 21 domestic services and flights to 28 international destinations in Asia, Europe and Australia. Its network extends to 26 countries and territories.

Last year Vietnam Airlines hosted 14.7 million passengers for both domestic and international flights. At this time it is the market leader in Vietnam, accounting for 40 percent of international air routes in and out of Vietnam and 61.4 percent of domestic.-VNA