Budget enhances airport transfers with new partnership

24 Oct 2009

Budget has enhanced airport transfer services in Ho Chi Minh's Tan Son Nhat  Airport, teaming up with the Southern Airports Services Company (Sasco).

Sasco is a specialist airport services firm known for offering last-minute air, hotel and car reservations for companies organising events, conferences and incentive programmes.

This joint venture sees Budget and Sasco combining their staff strength, assets and experience, with each company allocating 15 vehicles from their respective fleets to the airport transfer service at Tan Son Nhat. Sasco provides the two kiosks located in the domestic and international terminals, while Budget handles their fitout, branding, marketing and training and systems operations.

"This deal ensures that Tan Son Nhat Airport, the main gateway to Vietnam, becomes an easy place from which to hire a vehicle," said Simon Fraser, Budget general manager in Vietnam. "We will have strong presence in both terminals which is important for foreign visitors who recognise the Budget name and local travellers who recognise the Sasco name."

The partnership with Sasco also raises Budget's profile in Vietnam's domestic travel market.

"Sasco has an established network of domestic business and leisure travellers through its strong ties with Vietnam Airlines and the Northern Airports Services Company which operates at the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi," noted Fraser. "We gain more traction in the Vietnamese market from north to south where Sasco enjoy a strong relationship with its counterpart in the north."

He added: "We can leverage their network with government bodies, hotels resorts, airports, banks and transport companies. This will complement our future expansion plans in the country."

Budget is planning to extend its reach, going into Hanoi and Danang by year-end.

The company opened last year in Ho Chi Minh City where it now operates a fleet of 65 vehicles including Toyota Innovas, luxury sedans such as BMWs and Mercedez Benzes, SUVs from Ford and Chevrolet as well as van and buses. Besides airport transfers, the car rental company arranges vehicle leases on a daily and long-term basis.

The service is distinctive for providing an English-speaking local driver who also serves as a travelling concierge. Guests are pampered with bottled water, cold towels, international newspapers and magazines and a mobile phone programmed with frequently accessed telephone numbers in the city.

Both Budget and Sasco believe their "symbiotic relationship" – the partnership of a famiiar Vietnamese name and an globally recognised transportation brand – will accelerate the country's car rental business.

More than 2.5 million visitors arrived in Vietnam last year, of which over 800,000 were business travellers.  The total number of arrivals is expected to grow by eight percent year-on-year through 2010. Airport transfers currently constitute about 40 percent of Budget's revenues.

Fraser said: "These transfers are split 60-40 between business and leisure travellers and can involve long hours and distances. They can be anywhere from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang or Dalat in the north. We may have to drive guests who want to play golf in Phan Thiet and Mu Ne, or drive to the Cambodian border or the Mekong Delta."

Car rentals are priced between US$99 to US249 a day, very competitive rates compared with the US$40 hourly standard rate being charged by five-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City.

For more information on Budget rent-a-car in Vietnam, visit

Gigi Onag

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