Việt Nam considers allowing more airplanes to operate to serve increasing demand

January 07, 2023 - 08:11
Allowing local airlines to have more aircraft operate at this moment is the right move as it would help them rent aircraft at reasonable prices and have aircraft delivered on time.


A plane from Bamboo Airways lands at Nội Bài Airport. VNA/VNS Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is considering allowing airlines to operate more planes with the recovery of the domestic and international travel markets.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has proposed to the Ministry of Transport to allow nine more planes to be operated during Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, bringing the total number of aircraft to 234.

The global air market is recovering, which leads to increasing demand for planes. This may cause a shortage of aircraft for lease, according to the aviation authority.

Allowing local airlines to have more aircraft operate at this moment is the right move as it would help them rent aircraft at reasonable prices and have aircraft delivered on time, said the authority.

Given that a plane transports an estimated 250,000 passengers a year in Việt Nam and there are about 45.5 million air passengers domestically in 2023, the number of planes needed for the domestic market will be 182. The number of planes for the international market would be 57.

The total number of planes needed will range from 230 for early 2023 and increase to 250 by year-end months.

Currently, the total number of airplanes that are operated by five Vietnamese airlines (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Pacific Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietravel Airlines) is 225. The number in January 2020 (pre-pandemic) was 234.

Among the 225 planes, only 190 are used, 12 are maintained, and the rest of 23 are stored and not being used.

With the domestic air market fully recovering since mid-2022 and the international air market expected to fully recover in mid-2023, local airlines are looking to have more planes operating this year.

In 2022, Việt Nam served 43.2 million air passengers domestically, up 15.6 per cent against 2019. The international air market recovered more slowly.

It is expected that the air market in Việt Nam will transport about 80 million passengers and 1.44 million tonnes of goods, up 45.4 per cent and 15 per cent respectively compared to 2022.

Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, has recently announced it will increase the number of flights during Tết by a further 500.

The 500 flights will be between January 6 and February 5, and have over 90,000 seats. Most of them will be from Hồ Chí Minh City and Hà Nội to Vinh, Thanh Hoá, Đồng Hới, Chu Lai and other places.

Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways have sold nearly all tickets on their Tết extra flights. Vietravel Airlines has increased the number of daily return flights between Hồ Chí Minh City and Hà Nội to three.

Flights with China to resume

According to a recent notice by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, both Chinese and foreign airlines could resume their scheduled passenger flights from January 8, 2023, as per the arrangements prescribed in the framework of bilateral Air Service Agreements.

Adjustment and control measures such as the 'five-ones policy' and the 'country-specific policy' will no longer be implemented on international passenger flights, read the notice.

International passenger charter applications of Chinese and foreign airlines will be reviewed and approved gradually. The pre-pandemic application procedure will be fully restored starting the 2023 Summer Season, the document said.

The close-loop management, nucleic acid tests and quarantine measures for related airport staff and crew members for domestic and international services will be removed. All staff shall maintain personal protection and health monitoring. Crew members shall wear masks, sanitise their hands, and continue to implement cabin and lavatory disinfection. Guidance will be introduced to ensure that passengers are wearing masks.

The number of flights between Việt Nam and China was only two to four per week due to China’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Recently, when Party Chief Nguyễn Phú Trọng visited China, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam requested the Chinese authorities to resume flights between the two countries like normal. The Chinese side agreed to allow Vietnamese airlines to deploy 15 flights to China each week and Chinese airlines to deploy 15 flights to Việt Nam.

Shortly after that, Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Vietjet resumed their flights to China.

Leaders of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam has also worked with local airlines to discuss the resumption of flight with the Chinese market. VNS