|Airplanes are seen at Nội Bài International Airport. More flights have been added to serve rising demand for upcoming holiday but more expensive airfares upset many locals. VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng|
HCM CITY — Local airlines have increased flights to popular destinations to meet travel demand during the upcoming national holiday season.
However, the fares are rising by the hour.
Vietnam Airlines Group, including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines and Vasco, is offering 500,000 seats, equivalent to about 2,600 flights to and from Hà Nội, HCM City, Đà Nẵng, Quy Nhơn, Đà Lạt and Phú Quốc, among other localities, between April 4 and May 3.
The number represents an increase of 100,000 seats compared to off-peak periods.
Bamboo Airways has plans to add about 110 to 150 flights per week, which is equivalent to 22,000 to 30,000 seats, with many routes operating at a frequency of up to four to five flights per day.
Popular routes are Hà Nội/HCM City to Phú Quốc, Nha Trang, Quy Nhơn or Vinh, Thanh Hoá and Hải Phòng.
Meanwhile, in addition to launching five new routes from Vinh, Đà Nẵng, Thanh Hoá, Nha Trang and Đà Lạt to Phú Quốc, Vietjet will also increase flight frequency to meet passengers’ needs on the holiday.
Even though more flights have been added, many locals are upset about how expensive and rare some tickets are.
This can be seen from the limited number of flights from Hà Nội to Phú Quốc on April 30. According to the online ticketing site Abay, Vietjet offers the most affordable price at over VNĐ1.8 million per way, but only 25 tickets at 5pm on April 30 were seen at this price.
On the same day, Vietnam Airlines had five flights but they were priced at VNĐ2.9 to 4.2 million per ticket, depending on the ticket class.
Bamboo Airways has the highest price, with VNĐ3.6 million per way at the cheapest and VNĐ4.26 million the most expensive.
Prices on flights between Hà Nội and Nha Trang and between HCM City and Quy Nhơn have increased significantly compared to two weeks ago.
While many airlines have launched more flights and discounts to stimulate travel demand, all of the announcements are accompanied by the phrase “not applicable during peak period”, which covers the upcoming holiday period.
Representatives of some travel agencies pointed out that local tourism is in a demand stimulus stage to recover from a year of bad luck.
The biggest problem now is boosting sales and encouraging locals to travel. However, it is essential for travel agencies to not increase their package prices immediately, but keep everything under control to build trust and confidence among customers.
“During this difficult period, some customers have helped local tourism revive. It seems unfair if travel agencies decide to increase their prices now," a representative said. — VNS