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Vietnam’s aviation expected to strongly rebound this year

The recent recovery signs of domestic and international air routes stir hope of the sector for a strong rebound this year following a bad year in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The recent recovery signs of domestic and international air routes stir hope of the sector for a strong rebound this year following a bad year in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), domestic airlines operated 126,280 flights in 2021, down 41.7 percent year-on-year, and nearly 60 percent from the pre-pandemic number.

International regular flights had been completely frozen since the first wave of the pandemic, except flights bringing home overseas Vietnamese or those carrying foreign experts.

The General Statistics Office (GSO) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment said Vietnam welcomed only 111,100 international arrivals by air last year, a drop of 96.4 percent from the previous year.

Pham Viet Dung, Chairman of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA), said Vietnamese airlines experienced decreases of 80-90 percent in revenues.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines reported an accumulative loss of 21.2 trillion VND (934.7 million USD) as of the end of the third quarter last year.

However, a representative from Vietnam Airlines, said the carrier’s market share and revenue from cargo transport still took the lead in Southeast Asia, reaching some 8 trillion VND in the year, up 60 percent from 2020.

The carrier will continue to focus on cargo transport, aiming to establish a cargo carrier in the time ahead, the representative said.

Meanwhile, new-generation airline Vietjet reported a rise of 36.4 percent in revenue despite successive pandemic impacts, becoming a silver lining of the whole sector.

During the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival, passengers going through Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City increased sharply, surpassing 100,000 on February 6 - the sixth day of the Lunar New Year.

On February 3, Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi also served 34,000 passengers.

In December 2021 when international flights were resumed, the number of international visitors to Vietnam expanded by 14.2 percent from the previous month.

Experts said the Vietnamese aviation sector has surmounted the deepest point of the crisis. Domestic transport would recover to some 70-75 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while international transport would reach 25 percent. The figures are expected to rise higher in the last quarter of this year.

Vietnam Airlines General Director Le Hong Ha suggested further upgrading infrastructure and speeding up the implementation of major projects like Long Thanh Airport to ensure sustainable recovery and development of the sector.

Source: VNA

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