Ministry proposes new airline entry from 2022

By Anh Minh   May 15, 2020 | 06:05 am PT
Ministry proposes new airline entry from 2022
Aircraft at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC in April 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The establishment of new carriers would resume from 2022 as the aviation industry recovers under the most optimistic scenario, the Transport Ministry proposed.

The ministry estimated Vietnam’s aviation industry to see 42.7 million passengers this year, down 46 percent from a year prior. The figure doubles its worst-case-scenario forecast in February, which was a 23 percent drop to 61.2 million passengers.

Under the new scenario, domestic carriers would carry 32.6 million passengers this year, down 40 percent from a year ago.

"Currently, the fleet of domestic carriers operate 214 aircraft. Vietnamese carriers have just resumed domestic routes following the social distancing ease on April 23, alongside some international cargo flights with a payload ratio of less than 50 percent," Deputy Transport Minister Le Anh Tuan said.

Under the most optimistic scenario, the transport ministry stated Vietnam’s aviation market figures for the next two years could recover against 2019. Specifically, the aviation industry is forecast to reach 78 million passengers in 2022, of which domestic airlines would handle 57 million.

The government now needs to focus on reopening domestic and international routes and support existing airlines to overcome difficulties caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

In its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam banned most domestic and international flights in March and April, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for the two largest carriers, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet.

The carriers have resumed domestic flights, while international flights remain suspended except for special ones approved by the government.

Vietnam has five commercial airlines in operation: Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Vietjet Air, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) and Bamboo Airways.  

Airports across Vietnam served near 116 million passengers last year, up 12 percent from 2018, with Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet dominating the market.

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