May, 21 2012 10:09:41

Domestic aviation experts see potential in growing sector

HA NOI — Viet Nam's aviation sector is growing rapidly, according to Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Administration.

The speedy development was attributed to the increase of many foreign airlines that had opened new routes and enhanced the frequency of flights to Viet Nam, Thanh said.

He added the move was also based on belief in the country's aviation potential and incentives from the Government. The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) reports that last year, the domestic airline sector grew by 14 per cent.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani recently told Vnexpress.net online newspaper that he predicted the future of Vietnamese aviation to be positive. By 2014, the country would have become the third largest market for international passenger and cargo transport after China and Brazil.

He said the prediction was based on the 5 per cent average growth rate of the global aviation industry and that Vietnamese aviation would reach 10 per cent in 2015, by which time the country's GDP would expectedly have increased by 7 per cent on average.

By 2015, Viet Nam's aviation market will service between 34-36 million passengers and 52-59 million in 2019 while cargo transport increase between 850,000 to 930,000 tonnes in 2015 and 1.4 to 1.6 million tonnes in 2019.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance has decided to slash a number of service fees with the highest reduction at up to 50 per cent for the first airlines to open air routes to Viet Nam and for those that engage in operating air transport for the first time.

On May 3 this year, Finland Airlines (Finnair), a member of the Oneworld Alliance that operated more than 800 international flights to 149 countries and territories, officially declared its presence in Viet Nam.

Finnair mainly exploits routes between Europe and Asia. It has a fleet of more than 70 aircrafts, with an average life span of between 4-6 years.

Retteri Kostemaa, regional sales director for Singapore and Southeast Asia, said that it planned to open direct flights from Helsinki to Viet Nam in the near future.

Other airlines have continued to increase their flights and open new routes to Viet Nam, such as Cebu Pacific of the Philippines that launched its new flight from Manila to Ha Noi with a frequency of two per week.

In March, Saudi Airlines Cargo also deployed its services from HCM City to the Middle East and Frankfurt in Germany, with a frequency of two flights per week.

It is clear that opportunities for the country's aviation sector are vast, but it requires investors to have strong finances, human resources and experience. — VNS

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