Wealthy businessman Tran Dinh Long has purchased Vietnam’s very first private helicopter.
Eurocopter EC-135 (Illustrative photo)
The USD5 million helicopter has arrived in Da Nang and Mr. Long, Hoa Phat Group’s Chairman, will embark on his first flight shortly.
Vo Huy Cuong, Manager of the Air Transport Department under the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) confirmed this information with DTiNews.
The helicopter purchased by Long values at about VND96 billion ($5 million) price tag included cost, insurance and freight together with taxes and contingencies.
The money came from Long’s own pocket however, the purchase contract was signed by his company.
Long is completing required training including landing, take off, safety criteria and technical assurance.
The helicopter is expected to depart from Da Nang July 30 to an unspecified location.
Long will use the six-seat helicopter for domestic business trips, particularly to the mines that the Hanoi-based group is operating. The aircraft can easily take off and land in small areas.
In May 2008, Doan Nguyen Duc, of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, became the country’s first private airplane owner. The chairman of the Gia Lai Province-based group spent US$7 million on his Beechcraft King Air B350 designed with 12 seats and near-jet performance.
Vietnam’s civil aviation regulations permit individuals to purchase and operate aircraft in Vietnam if they meet conditions for having their own crew and maintenance services in compliance with safety and security regulations. Private aircraft owners are not allowed to use their aircraft for commercial purposes.