Up to more than 200 airplanes have been left unused at Vietnamese airports as local airlines have had to restrict flights due to the worsening Covid-19 epidemic.
Following the Ministry of Transport’s request, from April 1, all local and foreign airlines had to halt their international flights to the country for Covid-19 prevention.
Each local airline will provide only one flight per day on Hanoi-HCM City/ Danang/Phu Quoc and HCM City-Danang/Phu Quoc routes. Airlines have to halt all remaining flights from and to HCM City.
Vietnam Airlines' airplanes left unused due to Covid-19
This means that except for some airports such as Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Danang and Phu Quoc, others including Van Don, will almost close temporarily.
Previously, the Hanoi-HCM City air route had around 1,000 flights. However, now, the situation is totally different. Each day, there are only eight flights on the route. On March 31, Noi Bai International Airport welcomed just 1,000 passengers compared up to 20,000 earlier.
Despite the flight restriction, airlines still have to spend hundreds of billions of VND per month or even more for airplane maintenance, salary payment for their staff and other costs per month.
For instance, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has 108 airplanes, including 15 Boeing 787 and 14 Airbus 350. Every month, the firm has to spend nearly USD30 million for its fleet.
Meanwhile, budget carrier VietJet needs to spend USD20 million per month for its fleet which consists of 75 airplanes of Airbus 320 and Airbus 321.
It costs Vietnam Airlines VND6 billion (USD260,869) to rent the parking area for its fleet per month; while the figure for VietJet is VND3.6 billion and Bamboo Airways is VND1.24 billion.
Speaking to DTiNews, Head of Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang, said currently, domestic flights have been restricted, adding more challenges to airlines.
“It is impossible to guess about the Vietnamese aviation market’s growth this year as it is uncertain that when Covid-19 will end. We worry about airline bankruptcy,” Thang added.
Never before the aviation sector witnessed such a difficult situation, he emphassised.
According to Thang, “Despite numerous difficulties for airlines, Covid-19 prevention and control is still the top priority.” Dtinews
The Ministry of Transport has asked airlines to stop carrying passengers to Vietnam as from 00:00 of April 1 until the end of April 15 as part of measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The profit of Vietnam Airlines Corporation will be strongly affected by the spread of COVID-19 in countries around the world, according to the preliminary report of the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC).