In crisis, people celebrate Tet in home cities, air tickets unsold
VietNamNet Bridge – Numerous air tickets for the flights to depart on Tet days from HCM City to Hanoi, Da Nang and Vinh City have been left unsold. Meanwhile, more air tickets for the flights at non-peak hours have been put on sale.
Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City
Contrary to all predictions, the travel demand of people is very weak this year. The economic downturn has forced people to cancel the travel plans for Tet holiday. Though Tet would come in just three weeks, a lot of air tickets for the flights from HCM City to the provinces in the central region and the north remain unsold.
Strange thing: air tickets unsold
No need to hunt down for air tickets or queue up on Internet to register ticket purchases, no need to pay money for intermediaries to buy tickets, one now can easily book tickets for the flights on Tet holiday.
Thu Hang, a worker of a media company in district 1 in HCM City, said she was so surprised when she found out from the official websites of airlines that seats on the flights on key air routes still have been vacant, including the ones of the flights on rush days, just before Tet.
Meanwhile, Le Thuy from Nam Dinh City, who works in HCM City, feared that she would not be able to book tickets for the flights to Nam Dinh City; therefore, she decided to book tickets very soon, in November 2012.
Thuy felt happy when she successfully bought tickets at reasonable prices of VND2,974,000 dong per ticket. Therefore, Thuy has been exceedingly astonished when hearing that her sister has just bought a ticket at a much lower price.
“It’s quite a strange thing. You have to pay higher when you book ticket sooner,” she said.
Demand weaker due to economic difficulties
The official websites of Jetstar Pacific, Vietjet Air and Vietnam Airlines on January 16 showed that high numbers of tickets still have been available.
A booking agent of Vietnam Airlines also said the travel demand in 2013 is very low. Tickets have run out only for the flights on some special air routes, while a lot of tickets have been available on the backbone routes, including the Hanoi-HCM City route.
Reducing airfares may help boost sales
While the demand gets weaker, because people tend to choose other mans of transport to save money, airlines all plan to provide more flights this Tet as a result of the stiff competition in the domestic aviation market.
A senior executive of Jetstar Pacific has noted that the demand has been very weak since the beginning of the year.
A family with four members would have to pay some VND20 million on air tickets alone to fly from Hanoi and HCM City and vice versa. Van Trang in Tan Phu district in HCM City said a trip to the homeland to celebrate Tet would cost her the sum of money equal to many-month salaries.
When asked why the air tickets have become cheaper than the tickets sold many years ago, a senior executive of an airline said in principle, the sooner passengers book tickets, the cheaper tickets they can get. However, it happened that passengers usually changed their plans.
Since passengers would not fly on the initially set days, airlines have to slash the airfare by a little to attract passengers.