May 17, 2022
HANOI — The aviation market in Việt Nam is vibrant and recovering with the number of international visitors increasing five-fold, according to experts.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV), in April, Việt Nam’s airports handled 6.6 million passengers, down 14.3 per cent compared to the same time last year but the number of foreign visitors reached more than 230,000 in April, an impressive increase of 502 per cent over the same period last year when COVID-19 was developing in a complex fashion.
CAAV said Vietnamese airlines transported 3.28 million passengers, including 80,000 foreigners.
Compared to the same period last year, the number of international passengers choosing services of Vietnamese airlines rose 214.7 per cent, while the number of domestic passengers dropped 18.2 per cent.
As for cargo transport, in April, 140,700 tonnes of cargo were transported through Việt Nam’s airports, up 18.4 per cent year on year. Of this, 27,000 tonnes were transported by domestic airlines.
International shipping reached 15.5 thousand tonnes, up 64.3 per cent and domestic transportation reached 11.5 thousand tonnes, down 38.2 per cent.
In April, passenger and cargo transport through Việt Nam’s airports still decreased slightly compared to the same period last year, but still marked an amazing recovery compared to the closure time.
Besides, international passenger and freight transport witnessed a remarkable growth while domestic passenger and cargo transportation experienced a significant decline.
Earlier this week the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced to increase its flight frequency on eight air routes linking Việt Nam with Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) starting May 15.
Thus, three routes to the RoK will be resumed from June 1.
Routes connecting Hà Nội and HCM City with Japan’s Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya each will see up to two new flights per week while flights from/to Đà Nẵng and Tokyo will take to the skies again from July 1.
The carrier said it would operate 25-30 weekly flights from Hà Nội and HCM City to major cities of Japan, adding it will add three to four flights per week into routes linking Hà Nội and HCM City with Seoul, capital city of the RoK, from May 15.
It is to resume the Hà Nội-Busan and Đà Nẵng-Seoul routes from June 1, and the HCM City-Busan a month later.
International airlines join the race
Nguyễn Phước Thắng, head of the science and technology department of CAAV, said that the international aviation market would recover very quickly, saying: “It is possible that from now to the end of August, airlines will focus all their fleet of aircraft to increase flights for tourist routes.”
Thắng said passengers at Tân Sơn Nhất international terminal were more crowded when a series of airlines registered to return to operate or increase their regular flight frequency from April such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Asiana Airlines.
Vũ Thị Thanh Hương, Qatar Airways representative chief in Việt Nam and Cambodia, said that the airline increased the frequency of operation from three to five flights per week for the HCM City – Doha route from April 12.
At the same time, the second-largest Korean airline, Asiana Airlines, also increased from five to seven flights per week connecting with two flight points in HCM City and Phú Quốc.
The Emirates representative confirmed that it would increase the exploitation of commercial flights to and from Việt Nam, serving passengers during international business trips or holidays back home.
“Emirates has safely restarted operations to more than 120 destinations in its global network, via Dubai,” the airline said in a statement, adding that it was resuming commercial and tourist flights.
Visitors to Europe as well as other destinations should return to HCM City and Hà Nội, guests will no longer need to apply for a special entry permit from the Government and can completely self-isolate at home if they have been vaccinated fully or have been treated for COVID-19.
A representative of Saigon Ground Services Joint Stock Company (SAGS) said that it had received many new contracts from international airlines to increase the frequency or restore flight routes in the near future.
Airlines that were temporarily suspended due to the epidemic are now back operating, such as AirAsia and Jetstar Airways.
Assessing the business opportunities this year, the management of this company hopes that the epidemic situation will be controlled, the domestic aviation market will gradually recover, and countries will jointly adjust their immigration policies throughout the country to make them more open. However, there are still big challenges faced by SAG such as rising gasoline prices, and China’s key market maintaining a “zero COVID” policy.
Nguyễn Hữu Nam, Deputy Director of VCCI HCM City, said: “Fluctuating fuel prices are one of the major challenges for the aviation industry because fuel accounted for 29 per cent and 43 per cent of the total average cost of Việt Nam Airlines and Vietjet in 2015-19, respectively. “
Nam added in January 2022, the average jet fuel price increased to about US$101 per barrel, significantly higher than the $77.8 that was forecast in October 2021 which would impact on fares in 2022.