Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

VietJet Air is thinking about acquiring QazaqAir and the Aktobe airport / Photo: Shutterstock

VietJet Air, a low-cost carrier from Vietnam, is weighing the possible acquisition of Qazaq Air, a Kazakhstani airline, and the airport of Aktobe, according to Transport Minister of Kazakhstan Marat Karabayev.

«We are talking about selling Qazaq Air and attracting an international investor. This issue is quite complex. This morning we met with representatives of a foreign airline that said it would buy an additional 50 aircraft for Qazaq Air if it acquires the company,» the minister said during a briefing for the media.

The official also highlighted that Vietnamese SOVICO Group (VietJet Air) has 200 ordered Boeings and 200 Airbuses.

«We are now persuading the company to allocate 50 aircraft for the Kazakhstani company they want to acquire. Yes. We are working on this issue. In turn, the company wants us to facilitate their expansion beyond Kazakhstan,» Karabayev said.

Apart from the Kazakhstani airline, the Vietnamese low-cost carrier is also interested in purchasing one of the big Kazakhstani airports like the airport of Aktobe, the biggest Kazakhstani city in the Western part of the country.

«Let me be clear. Even though we are discussing different options, our talks with the Vietnamese company are the most intense. This is SOVICO Group (VietJet), a low-cost carrier. We have been talking with the chair of the company this morning and negotiating their investments into one of our airports like in Aktobe, which is very likely, and plus the acquisition of Qazaq Air,» he noted.

According to Karabayev, the only significant obstacle to the deal is Qazaq Air’s debt to the Samruk Kazyna holding for aircraft. So, any company that buys the airline should pay that debt.

«The Vietnamese company wants more exclusivity in terms of flights. Of course, we can’t do that in order to keep our market unrestricted. However, we are discussing how many aircraft they should buy and which routes they will receive,» the minister said, adding that the negotiations are still in progress.

Earlier this month, Samruk Kazyna declared the auction for Qazaq Air void. The fund extended the deadline of the auction twice and said that several domestic and foreign investors showed interest in acquiring the company.

In August, Ms. Saltanat Satzhan, managing director for development and privatization of Samruk Kazyna, said that the holding wanted to sell the airline in two stages. A buyer was expected to pay off the debt of $83 million by 2033.

By Admin

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