The Vietnam Airlines group announced a net profit before tax (PBT) of VND3.3 trillion ($142 million) for the first nine months of 2019, up 35.7% year-on-year (YOY), which accounts for 97.9% of the carrier’s annual target.

The group—consisting of parent airline Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and VASCO—earned a combined revenue of VND76.7 trillion.

The three airlines also carried 21.4 million passengers, up 3.2% YOY, with a 51.7% share of the local domestic market.

Parent company Vietnam Airlines reported an operating income of VND57.4 trillion and PBT of VND2.7 trillion, up 52.8% YOY. The airline cited fleet renewal and network expansion for the positive results. 

The SkyTeam member—which has taken delivery of 10 Airbus A321neos and two Boeing 787-10s, and phased out its last A330—expects four more A321neos and another Dreamliner.

The carrier will also introduce routes to Bali, Phuket, Macau and resume Da Nang-Bangkok services.

In preparation for direct flights to the US, Vietnam Airlines is enhancing its cooperation with US-based Delta Air Lines and China Airlines for potentially connecting flights.

Vietnam received a category 1 safety rating from the FAA in February, giving the country the go-ahead to launch flights to the US.

The airline plans to focus on aircraft maintenance and training to ensure resources for the busy year-end period.  

Chen Chuanren,