No new airlines for now: transport ministry

By Anh Tu   May 12, 2020 | 11:30 pm PT
No new airlines for now: transport ministry
Aircraft seen at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/Phuong D. Nguyen.
Vietnam will not peruse applications for new carriers as it prioritizes recovery of the aviation market after coronavirus impacts, the Transport Minister says.

Nguyen Van The said at a meeting Tuesday that appraising applications for the establishment of new airlines will resume after the pandemic crisis passes.

For now, the government now needs to focus on reopening domestic and international routes and support existing airlines, he said.

The new decision means that two airlines awaiting permits, Kite Air of hospitality group Thien Minh and Vietravel Airlines of tourism firm Vietravel, will have to continue waiting.

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

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.

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