Vietnam Airlines has sold its 49% share of Cambodia Angkor Air to an undisclosed buyer. The remaining 51% share of Cambodia’s Angkor Air is owned by the Cambodian government, who has said they do not want to nationalize the airline fully. Vietnam’s flag carrier has also signed a contract to sell five A321-200s valued at US$37 million as the impact of the virus outbreak affects their financial position.
In a 2019 audit of Vietnam Airlines, the airline cited severe operating costs as its reason for wanting to sell its shares in Angkor Air. The impact of travel restrictions on the aviation industry means that Vietnam Airlines’ will welcome the cash injection. CH-Aviation is reporting that the undisclosed buyer has paid $49 million for the shares, plus $37 million for the five aircraft.
Vietnam Airlines has been severely hit by current travel restrictions, with most of its 100-strong fleet grounded. The airline operates numerous flights to mainland China. In fact, it launched its 19th route to the country in December 2019. The airline struggled earlier this year as China introduced strict travel restrictions. Half of the airline’s staff have been furloughed. According to VNExpress, Vietnam Airlines would need $150 million in loans as well as $514 million in government aid to make it through the virus outbreak successfully.