Beleaguered airline industry asks government for loan of $1.17 bln

By Anh Duy   March 5, 2021 | 08:30 pm PT
Beleaguered airline industry asks government for loan of $1.17 bln
Aircraft at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC in April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Vietnam Aviation Business Association has sought a credit package of VND27 trillion ($1.17 billion) for airlines from the Government to revive the aviation industry.

This is the third time that VABA has made the since the beginning of 2020 when international and domestic travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic laid the industry low.

It also wants the government to roll over airlines’ loans to the end of 2024 and reduce airport charges like landing fees.

VABA wants the resumption of flights to places that have contained Covid-19 like Australia, India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Europe.

It urged the Ministry of Transport to run programs to stimulate domestic tourism.

Tran Bao Ngoc, head of the ministry’s transport department, agreed that the aviation industry needs support to come out of its slump, and promised to consider VABA’s demands and take up those outside its purview like rolling over loans with the government.

Aviation was among the worst hit sectors in 2020. The number of air passengers declined by 43 percent to 66 million, while cargo transport was 15 percent down at 1.3 million tons.

Landing and other ground services’ fees were reduced by 50 percent and those for some specialized aviation services were waived for six months from March to September.

The environment protection tax on aviation fuel was reduced by 30 percent.

The government also approved a bailout plan including refinancing and loan rollovers for Vietnam Airlines.

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