Vietjet Air gets official warning over troubled landings

By Ba Do   December 28, 2018 | 08:25 am GMT+7
The Transport Ministry's aviation authority has placed budget carrier Vietjet under special monitoring for 18 days over recent mishaps.

In a directive on aviation security and safety issued Thursday, the ministry has decided to "strictly warn" the carrier for "letting multiple incidents threatening flight safety occur recently."

It noted that in the past three months, Vietjet has had seven incidents, five with technical issues and two "subjective problems" with its employees.

Saying that these incidents have affected service quality and passengers' confidence, the transport minister has tasked the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) with stepping up inspections of the carrier's compliance with operational regulations, especially those related to the qualifications, certification and flight time of its crew and technicians.

At a Thursday morning meeting between the ministry and other relevant parties, CAAV director general Viet Thang said his agency has set up seven groups to closely monitor Vietjet Air from Friday until January 15.

During this period, the groups will focus on inspecting the carrier's aircraft, its preparation and planning for flights, as well as its ground services and aircraft maintenance.

"At the end of this inspection, if Vietjet meets all requirements and ensures complete safety, the monitoring will be stopped. Otherwise, the CAAV will move to the second phase of special monitoring," Thang said.

Crew error

Regarding an incident last month in which a Vietjet plane lost its nose wheels while landing at the Buon Ma Thuot Airport in the Central Highlands, Thang said that initial investigations, including the analysis of black box data, suggest that it was the crew's fault.

A combination of photos show a Vietjet aircraft at Buon Ma Thuot Airport without the nose wheels on November 29, 2018.

A combination of photos show a Vietjet aircraft at Buon Ma Thuot Airport without the nose wheels on November 29, 2018.

The plane involved in that landing is still parked in Buon Ma Thuot for repairs, which is expected to take five to six months.

Speaking at the meeting, a VietJet representative said the carrier was receiving direct support from the plane's manufacturer Airbus, as well as from its engine manufacturer, to build and manage a safety and quality system, apart from monitoring and appraisal by international assessment organizations, insurance corporations and the CAAV.

The nose wheel incident injured six passengers.

On Tuesday, another Vietjet Air plane was forced to turn back several minutes after taking off from Cam Ranh Airport in the central province of Khanh Hoa due to a technical alarm. However, it mistakenly landed on an unauthorized runway that was yet to become operational.

Both incidents were deemed "serious," prompting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to direct the transport ministry on Wednesday to review all existing aviation procedures, regulations and airport infrastructure, especially flight zones and flight management systems, to prevent any fatal accident from happening.

Vietnam’s aviation industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The country has served 106 million air passengers this year, up 12.9 percent over last year.

go to top