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Air carriers may reduce flights as airports become overloaded

VietNamNet Bridge - Management agencies are considering setting quotas to restrict the number of new aircraft that airlines can buy and the number of flights each day as airports are becoming overloaded.
VietNamNet Bridge - Management agencies are considering setting quotas to restrict the number of new aircraft that airlines can buy and the number of flights each day as airports are becoming overloaded.


According to Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), air carriers plan to have 1,285 more flights this Tet, an increase of 29.3 percent compared with the normal flight schedule. 

Thanh said additional flights may worsen the overloading at airports and traffic jams, though CAAV has applied measures to ease the problem.

At the meeting of the National Traffic Safety Committee on November 30, Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia said the overloading at Tan Son Nhat Airport is due  to poor infrastructure, but also to unreasonable flight licensing. 

The number of flights licensed by CAAV is much higher than the capacity. The number of passengers going through Tan Son Nhat Airport has been 32 million in 2016, while the capacity is 25 million.

Management agencies are considering setting quotas to restrict the number of new aircraft that airlines can buy and the number of flights each day as airports are becoming overloaded.
“CAAV must not satisfy all the proposals from airlines to increase the number of flights,” Nghia said, adding that in other countries, it is difficult for airlines to get permission to increase flights.

Also according to Nghia, while scheduling is for 38-40 flights an hour at Tan Son Nhat Airport, the number of flights is up to 45-50. 

“In Vietnam air carriers attract all passengers and few travelers choose the railway,” he said. 

CAAV, which is drafting a strategy on developing air transport products in the 2016-2020 period, has decided that Vietnam would have 230 aircraft by 2020.

Meanwhile, air carriers all plan to buy a large number of aircraft to expand their fleets. Vietnam Airlines, including its subsidiary Vasco, plans to have a fleet with 114 aircraft, Jetstar Pacific three and Vietjet 100.

If counting the 19 aircraft owned by Vietstar, which is awaiting a license from CAAV, the total number of aircraft of domestic airlines would be 263 by 2020.

CAAV estimates that if the current growth rate can be maintained, the total passenger transport capacity would reach 102 million by 2020, or 24 percent higher than the figure set for 2020 in the air transport development program approved by the government in 2009.

In principle, in the next four years, airlines, including Vietstar, can buy 89 more aircraft at maximum.

Meanwhile, the representative of a domestic airline said the quota scheme may hinder airlines’ development, and that it is unreasonable for CAAV to restrict the number of aircrafts but still license new airlines.

Thanh Lich


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