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Transport firms face huge losses from coronavirus outbreak

Many transportation firms reported that they are incurring huge losses and slow business due to the coronavirus outbreak.




Passengers at Hanoi Station on February 2



Director of Vietnam Airlines Duong Tri Thanh said travel demand had sharply dropped in and out of Vietnam.

Travel routes to China accounted for 10% of their market with about 70,000 passengers a month so they have faced many difficulties because of the travel ban to and from China.

Even flights that transit through China have also been affected.

If the outbreak lasts until July, they will face a loss of over USD196m. They are searching for solutions to save operational costs and limit losses to ensure good financial results.

Other modes of transports are also in the same situation as people and authorities advised against visiting crowded places.

Phan Tuan Linh, director of Quy Nhon Port Company, said the losses in the past month reached millions of USD.

Firms have stopped all ships to China and wood chip ships unloading in China were also spending prolonged periods there.

TS Lines said 12-13 ships often went to China every month but after the outbreak, the number of ships to China decreased to seven.

Their quantity of goods also dropped to 30% compared to the same period last year. They have to incur losses to maintain operations.

If one crew member is sick, the ships will be seized for sterilisation and quarantining and they wouldn't be able to unload anything.

According to Linh, Quy Nhon Port now only opens 20 days a month and received 100,000 tonnes of goods less than the goals set for January.

The amount of goods cleared at Quy Nhon Port also dropped by 10-15%.

Phung Thi Ly Ha, a representative of Hanoi Railway Transport JSC, said after the Tet holiday, they had to cut many trains that have the capacity to carry 6,000 passengers.

Trains that run on Hanoi-Lao Cai route were no longer running because of the lack of passengers.

School and university shutdown means tickets to and from Hanoi and HCM City were returned. Saigon Railway Transport JSC incurred VND30bn (USD1.3m) loss and Hanoi Railway Transport JSC incurred VND13bn loss.

Dat Cang Transportation Trading and Services JSC Chairman Khuc Huu Thanh Hai said they had been badly affected by the outbreak.

In the worst case, they will cut staff and cease operations to limit losses. Do Van Bang, director of Minh Thanh Phat Company, said many tours and festivals had been cancelled so the number of passengers decreased by 70%.

According to Hanoi Railway Transport JSC, trains in the southern region were often 77% full but now, the figure had dropped to 39%.

Other trains received even fewer passengers. The companies are struggling to maintain the equipment, vehicles and pay wages. Lao Dong/Dtinews

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