airfare hoangha.jpg
(Photo: Hoang Ha)

Vietnam Airlines (HVN), the national flag air carrier, has reported consolidated revenue of VND31.7 trillion in the first quarter of 2024, up 32.8 percent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, Vietjet Air (VJC) has reported revenue of VND17.792 trillion and post-tax profit of VND539 billion, up by 38 percent and 212 percent, respectively.

The impressive recovery of international air routes and the peak travel season were cited to explain the prosperity of Vietnam Airlines.

The revenue from international air transport brought turnover of VND13.8 trillion, up 30.4 percent over the same period 2023, making up 65 percent of its total turnover and three times higher than the lowest figure in 2021.

The turnover from sales and services of the holding company reached VND22 trillion.

Its subsidiaries also made a profit, contributing to Vietnam Airlines’ growth. Pacific Airlines, which is now under its management, has given back all leased aircraft and settled debt worth $220 million (VND5.6 trillion).

With record high revenue in the first quarter, Vietnam Airlines has for the first time reported profit after 16 consecutive quarters of loss. 

This was the highest quarterly revenue so far (VND31.7 trillion in the first quarter 2024 vs VND25.5 trillion in the first quarter 2019).

Vietnam Airlines reported consolidated post-tax profit of VND4.44 trillion for the first three months of the year, including the VND1.5 trillion belonging to the holding company.

Meanwhile, Vietjet Air made post-tax profit of VND540 billion, three times higher than the first quarter 2023, the highest profit since 2020.

Prior to that, Vietravel Airlines reported profit of VND10 billion and revenue of VND491 billion, up 42 percent.

The revenue of domestic airlines increased sharply in the first months of the year amid the sharp airfare increases.

The lifting of ceiling airfares by 3.75-6.67 percent applied since March 1 to most domestic air routes, plus fewer number of fleet because of engine maintenance and restructuring, reduced the number of air tickets. The airfares were high not only on Tet days, but also one month later.

On the busiest route of HCM City - Hanoi, economy return tickets were at least VND6-7 million. The zero-dong, VND9,000, VND14,000 and VND19,000 tickets have disappeared since 2023, when tourism began recovering and airlines had to increase revenue to offset the losses incurred during Covid years. 


While other airlines all have reported positive growth, Bamboo Airways still has not released its financial report. The air carrier is undergoing restructuring with the fleet narrowed to 7-8 airplanes. It has also stopped flying less effective routes.

Pacific Airlines has given back all leased airplanes.

Vietravel Airlines, with three aircraft, focuses on providing services to clients of the same ecosystem (Vietravel is a tourism company). It has stopped providing flights from Hanoi to Nha Trang, Da Lat and Quy Nhon, and maintains three routes only, even in the high summer season.

As such, domestic air transport, in the immediate time, will rely on Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air. Meanwhile, the two air carriers are lacking 40 A321s as they are under maintenance. 

Phung Thi Sinh in Dong Da district in Hanoi said she luckily booked 10 tickets to Nha Trang in mid-June three weeks ago at VND3.76 million per return ticket (including tax, fees), but the ticket prices surged to VND4.2 million.

Currently, when airlines lack airplanes and international aviation is recovering, domestic airlines are gathering strength on developing existing routes and expanding international networks. The number of flights and revenue from international transport by Vietnam Airlines are coming closer to the figures of before Covid-19, nearly equal to that in the first quarter of 2019.

As for Vietjet Air, international passenger transport in the first quarter of 2024 grew by 53 percent in number of flights and 61 percent in number of passengers compared with the first quarter of 2023.

International transport brings significant revenue to air carriers, but to increase international flights, they have to reduce the flight frequency of less effective domestic flights. As a result, the airfares for domestic routes have increased sharply.

On the April-May holiday, return ticket on Hanoi – Nha Trang was sold at VND6-7 million, Hanoi – Phu Quoc VND8 million.

Ngoc Ha