The CEO of budget carrier Vietjet Air, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, is included in Forbes’s listing of the world’s top 1,000 billionaires.
Thao is currently 939th on the real time billionaires ranking updated by Forbes magazine Tuesday, with a net worth of $2.6 billion, marking the first time Vietnam’s only female billionaire had made it into the top 1,000.
Forbes’s 2019 billionaires listing last March had ranked Thao 1,008th with a net worth of $2.3 billion. Nearly six months later, her net worth has increased by over $300 million.
Thao, 49, has experience in doing business in Vietnam and abroad in many fields, including finance, banking, aviation, real estate, and retail.
She launched Vietjet in 2011. The airline now leads the domestic market with a 45 percent share. It operates 385 flights daily within Vietnam and to Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, mainland China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.
The carrier launched its IPO on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in February 2017, becoming the first airline in Vietnam to list publicly.
Vietjet has now surpassed the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines in terms of passengers carried. It has a fleet of 80 aircraft flying to 120 destinations.
Topping the Forbes list is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became world’s first centi-billionaire with a net worth of $108.4 billion, down $15 billion from last March’s ranking. Bill Gates, Microsoft’s co-founder, is in second place with a net worth of $104.9 billion.