Why does only one airline fly to Con Dao Island?
Deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) Vo Huy Cuong affirmed that the watchdog agency is unbiased when licensing air routes to Con Dao Island.
Vasco is the only airline that provides flights to Con Dao Island and the airfare is very high, said Tran Du Lich, a respected economist at the workshop discussing the rise of the aviation sector after Covid-19 and the economic recovery in Binh Dinh some days ago.
The economist thinks that it is necessary to change the mindset and coordination in the aviation industry to create favorable conditions for the industry to develop.
He stressed that the changes could be the ‘breakthrough’ that brings ‘the first rains’ that will help the aviation sector ‘spring up’ again.
In reply, Cuong affirmed that there is no bias towards any air carrier in licensing the flights to Con Dao.
|The principle being pursued by CAAV is creating most favorable conditions for airlines to develop air routes, unless the infrastructure conditions are limited.|
The principle being pursued by CAAV is creating most favorable conditions for airlines to develop air routes, unless the infrastructure conditions are limited.
At present, there are up to 21 flights a day between HCM City and Can Tho with connection with Con Dao, which can show the rapid recovery of the aviation sector within a short time, just four weeks since the day the sector resumes its operation.
Cuong said CAAV is considering whether to use Airbus 319 for the air route to Con Dao and with small investments. Bamboo Airways now has one aircraft of this kind, which can serve flights from Hanoi to Con Dao and then to HCM City, and vice versa.
Repeatedly affirming that CAAV doesn’t give favors to any air carrier, Cuong attributed the existence of only one air carrier on the air route to Con Dao to the airlines’ strategies on fleet expansion.
Vietjet Air, for example, focuses on using A320 and A321 aircraft that serve low-cost exploitation activities.
He explained that air carriers tend to use the aircraft of the ‘same family’ so as to cut down on costs for pilot training and spare parts, which allows competitive airfares.
Meanwhile, Con Dao Island now can receive ATR-72, or Fokker 70. Previously, Bombardier of Air Mekong could also fly to Con Dao.
As such, Vietjet still cannot fly to Con Dao, while Vietnam Airlines is considering using A319 for flights there. However, it is still not clear if the aircraft can land at Con Dao Airport.
If Bamboo Airways wants to develop an air route to Con Dao, it will have to be equipped with a new type of aircraft, which means that it will have to pay additional operation and pilot training costs.
When to restart international flights still undecided
Vietnam’s national aviation authority is still undecided over the exact date for the reopening of international commercial air routes,
Domestic routes resuming, international flights pending
As the Covid-19 epidemic is now under control in Vietnam, domestic flights have been operational again, with seat distancing no longer applied.