Vietnam Airlines seeks $500 mln government support

By Dat Nguyen   April 6, 2020 | 06:33 pm PT
Vietnam Airlines seeks $500 mln government support
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft on the runway of the Frankfurt Airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by Shutterstock/Vytautas Kielaitis.
Vietnam Airlines says it will need a government financial support package of VND12 trillion ($509 million) to overcome Covid-19 pandemic impacts.

Revenues of the national flag carrier in the first quarter fell 26 percent year-on-year to VND19.2 trillion ($819 million), according to a recent report by the Commission for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC).

If the pandemic persists until the fourth quarter, the airline estimates a loss of VND19.6 trillion ($836 million) this year after years of making profit.

Its contingency fund has run out, and it had borrowed almost VND3.6 trillion ($153.6 million) in short term loans as of March 20 to cover costs. But with some of the debt repayment being delayed, the airline and its subsidiaries might not be able to acquire more credit from banks.

Vietnam Airlines, which operates just a few domestic flights a week now, has suffered the greatest damage among the 19 state-owned corporations managed by the CMSC.

Only six of its 106-jet fleet are now operational, and half of its employees have had to stop working.

The CMSC’s report also said that other state-owned corporates are struggling as revenues plummet because of the pandemic.

Their reported losses reached VND3.7 trillion ($158 million) in the first quarter, and the figure could rise sevenfold to VND26.3 trillion ($1.22 billion) for the whole year.

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