|Passengers check in at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City. — VNS File Photo|
HCM CITY — Travellers preparing for the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday are facing higher fares and a shortage of tickets, with some flyers having to book late evening flights, or book early or late, to save money on domestic routes.
Thu Hà, who works for a bank in HCM City, had to pay more than VNĐ20 million (more than US$880) for three return flights on Vietnam Airlines to Đà Nẵng for a family reunion during the traditional Tết festival.
Thu Hà will depart three days before Tết and return 10 days after the first day of Tết.
“This year’s airfare is much higher than in previous years,” Hà said.
A man named Vinh from HCM City’s Phú Nhuận District said he paid for a flight at 10am, but it was recently changed to an early evening flight.
Many other passengers were facing the same challenges.
Hưng, an air ticket sales agent from Nha Trang City in the central province of Khánh Hoà, said that passengers flying with low-cost airlines were facing the same situation.
Budget carrier Vietjet Air has announced that tickets for its HCM City-Vinh flights between January 29 and February 1 (three days before Tết) have sold out. Tickets on February 3 cost over VNĐ2.8 million.
Similarly, Jetstar Pacific said there were no more tickets on its four daily flights from HCM City to Vinh between January 31 and February 2.
These three airlines have sold out HCM City-Huế flights between January 29 and February 2. However, tickets are still available on these dates for flights from HCM City to Đà Nẵng, Nha Trang and Hà Nội.
Tickets remain available for HCM City-Hà Nội flights during the same period because there were many more flights on this route.
More flights for Tết
The number of air passengers during the New Year and Tết holidays are expected to rise by 11 per cent compared with the previous year, according to forecasts from the Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam (CAAV).
CAAV has also asked agencies in the aviation sector to gather resources to meet passengers’ rising demand for transport.
Đinh Việt Thắng, head of CAAV, said carriers would add 32 airplanes during the holiday period, bringing the number of aircraft used for domestic flights from 158 to over 180.
Jestar Pacific said the carrier would add 80,000 seats for domestic flights over the period, and will have more flights on the Hà Nội-Cần Thơ route, using Airbus aircraft. — VNS