VietNamNet Bridge – Booking agents have all said, in the current economic difficulties which force people to fasten their belt, very few people have booked air tickets for Tet flights. However, air tickets are still in short supply.
All the air carriers have geared up to prepare for the 2014 Tet season, planning to provide more flights and sell tickets for Tet flights, though the 2014 Tet would come only in four months.
Jetstar Pacific Airlines was the first air carrier which launched the ticket sale campaign. It plans to sell 136,000 tickets which would be sold in many different phases.
In the first phase began on September 9, 2013, the airline sold 14,000 tickets. The second phase, with 28,000 tickets offered for sale, began on October 9. There are no big changes with Jetstar Pacific’s airfares, according to Dan Viet.
Regarding the airfares, Kieu Lien, a worker of a booking agent in Binh Thanh district, noted that the airfares set up by carriers are nearly the same, therefore, there are not many choices for passengers.
“The airfares set by budget airlines are nearly the same with the airfares of Vietnam Airlines,” Lien said.
Vietjet Air has also begun selling tickets for Tet flights on its all 14 air routes. Desmond Lin from Vietjet Air said the air carrier has been continuously increasing the frequency of flights and opening new air routes. In the first phase, 15,000 tickets have been put on sale.
The national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines began selling Tet flight tickets on October 2. About 10 percent of the total tickets would be sold in the first phase of the sale, while the other 60 percent in the second. The third phase would be in early December.
It is expected that 835 more flights on 9 key air routes would be provided during Tet holiday. There would be 385 flights more, while on the Hanoi – HCM City – Hanoi route, and 218 flights more on Da Nang – HCM City.
Mot The Gioi newspaper has quoted booking agents as reporting that very few tickets have been booked.
A worker at the booking agent in Tan Binh district in HCM City said people came or called to ask about the prices and went away. Very few people decided to book tickets right at this moment.
“A loyal client, when hearing that one economy ticket costs over VND3 million, said she and her family members would celebrate Tet in HCM City instead of flying to Hanoi for the family union with parents,” he said.
“Many others also made such a decision. A family of four members would have to spend more than VND20 million to fly to Hanoi and then return from Hanoi,” he continued. “Fewer people buy tickets this year than the previous year.”
Tran Thi Thu Thuy in Phu Nhuan district, a worker for an import-export company, also said that her family members would travel on train instead. “Over 10 million is too costly for a trip to Hanoi,” she said.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Quynh Trang in district 2 said she is considering traveling abroad instead of returning to the home village.
“If we buy tickets to fly from HCM City to Bangkok, we will have to pay less than VND3 million (return ticket), which is just a half of the ticket to Hanoi,” Trang explained.Kim Chi