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Vietnamese carriers get busy with early holiday plans

By Dat Nguyen   December 18, 2018 | 05:11 pm PT
Vietnamese carriers get busy with early holiday plans
Aircrafts seen at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Shutterstock/Phuong D. Nguyen
With six weeks to go for Tet, the Lunar New Year festival, Vietnamese carriers are bracing for the upsurge in demand.

Jetstar Pacific, the low-cost arm of flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, announced Tuesday that it would increase the number seats on local routes by 80,000.

It has also opened a new route from Hanoi to the southern city of Can Tho to meet travel demand between the two destinations before and after the Tet holiday, which falls February 2-10 next year. 

Earlier, the carrier had announced plans to operate 3,210 flights, or 600,000 seats, to serve customers for the Tet holiday.

Vietnamese people traditionally move from the cities to their hometowns and villages all over the country to reunite with their families before the Lunar Near Year begins.

State-owned Vietnam Airlines has also raised its number of seats from January 20 to February 19 to 1.4 million, 100,000 higher than the same period last year. This involves an addition of 566 more flights, to serve customers in Tet.

The flag carrier has also announced that it will open a new route from Ho Chi Minh City to the new Van Don International Airport near Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh Province. It will start operating one flight a day between the two destinations starting December 30.

About 90 percent of flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, central cities of Vinh and Da Nang have already been booked, a Vietnam Airlines representative told VnExpress International.

As there are signs of the demand increasing further, the largest airline in the country by passengers carried plans to open another 56,000 seats in the next few days.

Many VietJet Air agents have confirmed that VietJet has opened ticket sales from Ho Chi Minh City to Van Don Airport in Quang Ninh Province starting January 20. The Van Don International Airport, the first private airport in the country, is set to open for business on December 25, 2018.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), said at a conference last month that the number of airplanes will increase by 32 to 180 to meet the high travel demand around Tet time. This means that the transport capability of the Vietnamese aviation sector will increase by 20 percent, he added.

The number of air passengers for the upcoming New Year’s Eve and Tet holidays is expected to increase by 11 percent year-on-year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV).

It also says that local airlines have registered to increase the number of flights by 2,611 to 19 airports for Tet. The number of passengers during the holiday is expected to increase by around 280,000 over normal days.

The highest holiday surge in the number of passengers will be seen on the HCMC-Hanoi route, which will have 519 additional flights, or 20 percent of the total increase. The corresponding numbers for the HCMC-Da Nang route will be 354 flights and 14 percent; HCMC-Vinh, 306 flights and 12 percent; and Hanoi-Phu Quoc, 24 flights and one percent.

Vietnamese carriers have served almost 45.1 million passengers in the country in the first 11 months of this year, up 11.9 percent from a year ago, according to the General Statistics Office.

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