VietNamNet Bridge - Air carriers have rushed to buy airplanes to expand their fleets, a reflection of the high growth rate of the Vietnamese aviation market, but this flurry of purchases has raised worries about overloading infrastructure.


The overloading at the airports and the flight delays due to the lack of parking lots have become a common sight to Vietnamese.

A heavy task has been put on the shoulders of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which runs 21 airports in Vietnam which has to develop the infrastructure items at the airports to satisfy high travel demand.

According to Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the operating airports are designed to serve 75 million passengers a year. 

The overloading at the airports and the flight delays due to the lack of parking lots have become a common sight to Vietnamese.

Meanwhile, in the first four months of 2016 alone, the number of passengers going through the airport reached 63 million. 

Vietnamese air carriers, anticipatinghigh travel demand, have been moving ahead with their plans to buy more aircrafts to expand their fleets.

Vietjet Air, the private airline, has recently signed a $11.3 billion contract on buying 100 B737 MAX 200s with deliveries between 2019 and 2023.

Prior to that, in 2014 and 2015, the air carrier bought 98 aircraft and chartered eight others in a contract worth $14.5 billion.

Once the contracts are implemented, Vietjet would have over 200 new aircraft by 2023, which is seven times higher than the number of aircraft it has.

Meanwhile, a lot of airports, including Tan Son Nhat and Cam Ranh, have become overloaded. Tan Son Nhat Airport, for example, now has to run at double the designed capacity.

Vu Pham Nguyen An, a senior official of ACV, said ACV has spent tens of trillions of dong to develop the airports’ infrastructure, but this was still not enough.

According to An, except three major airports, namely Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Da Nang, other airports have been taking loss.

ACV still has to pay big money to maintain the operation of the airports in accordance with safety standards, thus putting big difficulties for the corporation in capital arrangement.

ACV estimates that the total investment capital for the infrastructure projects at the airports is VND43.374 trillion, not including the Long Thanh International Airport.

Under the ACV’s plan, the aircraft parking field at Tan Son Nhat would be expanded and upgraded. ACV believes that this is the best solution for the airport, because the plan on building one more runway is unfeasible due to the limited land fund.

ACV also plans to upgrade other airports, including Cam Ranh, Phu Quoc and Phu Bai.