Vietnamese budget airline Vietjet is set to enter the e-commerce business.
The firm is currently forging alliances with industry partners to enable it to offer a range of goods and services online as it seeks to build on and profit from its existing customer data. The new platform, which will be based on blockchain technology to facilitate transactions among partners, is expected to launch within the next two years.
“Following our concept of ‘Consumer Airline’, we will have an e-commerce platform to serve not only air tickets but whatever they need,” said Vietjet’s VP Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh in Tokyo in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review. “All the suppliers and partners will join our platform to serve the products to not only our 30 million passengers but also hundreds of millions of customers in Vietnam and other parts of the world.”
The service will offer banking, insurance, hotel bookings and consumer goods, among other planned features. It will initially target passengers on the airline before expanding to the general public.
Vietjet is expected to fly 30 million passengers this year, an increase of 30 per cent over last year’s total. While its revenues have been increasing over the period, rising fuel costs and intensifying competition have increased pressure on the firm’s core business. Vietjet has already formed a partnership with finance firm HD Saison Finance to allow customers to purchase air tickets ‘on loan’ in hope of attracting sales even from travellers who cannot immediately afford to buy.
Vietjet currently flies 119 domestic and international routes, with a fleet of almost 80 aircraft.