Vietnamese airlines have resumed most domestic flights after the country has gone almost 50 days without community transmission of the coronavirus.
Vietnam Airlines has begun reopening its domestic routes nationwide since early last month. — Photo Vietnam Airlines
While international routes are still mostly stopped, opening more domestic routes is seen as key to getting airlines and the local economy back on their feet.
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on Monday announced that it will open six more domestic routes this month, connecting the northern port city of Hai Phong and destinations in central and southern Viet Nam, including Phu Quoc, Da Lat, Can Tho and Buon Ma Thuot.
Vietnam Airlines started reopening domestic routes nationwide early last month after getting approval from the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV).
Jetstar Pacific, VietJet Air, Bamboo Airway and VASCO have all started reopening of domestic routes, but for the aviation industry to fully recover, besides the domestic market, international flights need to gradually return, first of all in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.
Solutions to aid aviation industry
Speaking at a conference on aviation development held in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh on Sunday, deputy head of the CAAV Vo Huy Cuong said the sector would need to be available after the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled and all immigration and isolation barriers are removed.
At that time, Cuong said the industry would be operating normally and international routes would be bustling.
“Although there is not yet an exact time for the reopening of international routes, we are still seeking solutions to recover international routes. We now maintain international cargo arrivals and departures but still limit the entry of passengers,” Cuong said.
"We are studying the reopening of some international routes between Viet Nam and France, South Korea and Hong Kong. It’s also needed to develop infrastructure to make the aviation industry stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
Chairman of FLC Group and Bamboo Airways Trinh Van Quyet said the Ministry of Transport and CAAV had been receptive to the airline's proposals and authorities had given solutions and policies to aid the industry.
“Bamboo Airways has reopened 90 per cent of its domestic routes, however, it just reached 50 per cent of flights compared to prior to the pandemic. We will recover all routes this month,” Quyet said.
Economist Le Xuan Nghia said the world economy might take a few years to recover, however, Viet Nam would not face an economic recession but growth decline.
“Northeast Asia’s COVID-19 outbreak has been under stable control, so it’s necessary to recover routes in this region. The domestic market has restored well, this is an advantage of the aviation industry, we only need a stimulus solution,” Nghia said.
Doan Thi Loc, Deputy Director of Saigon Tourist, said airlines offering discounts and resort deals had made a great impact on tourism.
“Tourism companies often negotiate prices with restaurants and entertainment places to build attractive products, stimulating the tourism needs of people. Airfares usually account for a third of the tour cost. With such cheap airfares at present, customers will benefit greatly,” Loc said. — VNS
Air travel demand has increased after a long period of travel restriction because of Covid-19.
Increasing ceiling rates for airfares would bring more opportunities for local aviation firms to have flexible and suitable price policies in the domestic aviation market.