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Inspections look into rising delayed flights

Update: July, 17/2014 - 08:42
Passengers check-in at Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi. The Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam has started inspections to the find causes of delayed and cancelled flights. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Inspectors from the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) have started to oversee operations of airlines at the two international airports in HCM City and Ha Noi to find the causes behind delayed flights.

The move was made following Transport Minister Dinh La Thang's request to investigate delayed and cancelled flights in response to a reported increase.

Figures from the CAAV show that the percentage of cancelled and delayed flights accounted for 25 per cent of the total in the first five months of this year, compared to 16 per cent for the same period last year.

Low-cost carrier VietJet Air had the highest rate of cancelled and delayed flights - 51 per cent of its total. Jetstar Pacific Airlines reported 50 per cent of its total flights were also affected.

Vietnam Airlines had the lowest rate with 14 per cent of its total.

CAAV Deputy Head Vo Huy Cuong, who doubles as head of the investigation team, said it had been difficult to establish the cause of the problem in just three days.

However, he said, initial examination and reports from relevant agencies found that weather conditions, commercial and technical faults accounted for nearly 63 per cent of the total number of delayed and cancelled flights.

Low-cost carrier VietJet Air also reported other reasons related to the time allocated to take off and land.

Director of Tan Son Nhat Airport Dang Tuan Tu attributed the repeated delays to overloading at the southern terminal.

The airport was capable of serving 29 flights per hour at peak times, but the real number of flights was as many as 33, he said.

The airport has 47 airport aprons, but only 38 of them are in use, leading to overloading during peak hours.

CAAV Deputy Head Cuong urged the airlines to recalculate their expected flight duration to avoid late arrivals.

"For example, the airlines expect that it will take two hours and five minutes to travel from Noi Bai to Tan Son Nhat, including preparations and landing," he said.

"But it takes up to 30 minutes during peak periods for taxiing, so the schedule can rarely be ensured, resulting in delays," he said.

He also urged Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi to invest in more equipment to help improve services.

Cuong added that his fact-finding tours over the past few days also found that customers were also responsible for delayed and cancelled flights.

A report from VietJet Air showed that passengers accounted for 1 per cent of delayed flights due to lack of documents, getting lost in the airport and carrying banned items on board.

Flights were also delayed while workers tried to find passengers, because airlines are not permitted to leave passengers who have completed procedures to board planes, particularly those who have checked in their luggage.

The results of the inspections will be made public so travellers can choose which airline to fly on, forcing carriers to take measures to improve their services. — VNS

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