Airlines face turbulent airport charge hikes in Vietnam

By VnExpress   March 15, 2017 | 05:14 am PT
Airlines face turbulent airport charge hikes in Vietnam
Workers sweep the road ahead of the opening of the new terminal two wing at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters
However, aviation authorities maintain that the hike will not affect ticket prices.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) wants to raise the service charges airlines have to pay to fund airport expansion projects, but claims this will not affect ticket fares.

Airlines would have to pay an extra VND143 billion ($6.3 million) annually following the increase, while just VND5,100 or U.S.22 cents would be added to ticket fares.

“The change is too small for airlines to justify a ticket hike,” said Le Manh Hung, director general of Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the operator of domestic civilian airports.

Pending approval, the charges would rise by five percent from July 1, and jump 10 percent from January 1, 2018. 

Vietnam’s largest airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai in Hanoi, designed for both domestic and international flights, have become increasingly overloaded.

Proceeds from the hike would fund projects to upgrade runways and departure gates to accommodate the increasing number of people traveling by air in Vietnam, according to the CAAV.

The charges Vietnamese airlines pay have remained unchanged since 2011, the CAAV said, adding they are only 47-67 percent of what other Southeast Asian countries charge.

Vietnam’s airline industry is growing at the third-fastest pace in Asia-Pacific, with the number of travelers jumping 29 percent in 2016 from the year before to about 52.2 million passengers, according to the CAAV.

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