Vietnamese retail conglomerate IPP Group (IPPG) is hopeful that it will receive its air operator certificate by the end of July, in time for the delivery of the first of four Boeing 737-800BCF freighters on July 25.
Phillip Nguyen, IPP Travel Retail CEO, said the new carrier, named IPP Air Cargo, is set to commence operations from September, serving Hong Kong and Singapore initially.
Routes understands that the startup is in discussions to procure at least 10 freighters, including some widebodies, to reach its target of 14-17 aircraft within the next three years. IPP Air Cargo's first four 737s are wet leased from BBAM Aircraft Leasing but the aim is for most of its aircraft to be owned.
Nguyen expects the larger aircraft will be delivered sometime around 2024, allowing time for the company to establish its short-haul cargo network.
IPP Air Cargo is being led by CEO Le Hong Thuy Tien while former Polar Air Cargo COO Lars Winkelbauer is engaged as an advisor. The new carrier is currently in talks with Singapore’s postal service provider Singpost and Cainiao, the logistics arm of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba.
IPPG has also inked a memorandum of understanding with Australia’s Wagner Corporation to develop a commerce corridor between Queensland’s Toowoomba (WTB) and Vietnam. Service is expected to start as early as March 2023. Nguyen said the route aims to transport consumer and industrial goods to Australia, as well as perishables such as fresh food to Vietnam and beyond. He added that there are plans to use Da Nang (DAD) and Cam Ranh (CXR) as a staging point for cargo to be forwarded to other destinations in the region, or to Vietnam’s sea ports.