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In a message sent to ticket agents nationwide, national carrier Vietnam Airlines announced it would increase business ticket prices for domestic routes by between VND100,000 and VND500,000 and economy ticket prices by between VND40,000 and VND300,000.
A representative of Vietnam Airlines said it still maintained some 10 low-price levels on each domestic route and would not increase the prices for routes to localities such as Buon Ma Thuot and Dien Bien to meet the demands.
Meanwhile, budget carrier VietJet also increased its service cost from VND100,000 to VND140,000 per domestic route and from VND120,000 to VND160,000 per international route from Wednesday.
The carrier also adjusted fees for services such as seat options, baggage and changing flight schedules.
A VietJet representative said the increase of ticket prices was based on the adjustment of service fees; however, it still ensured competitiveness in the market.
Budget carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines, a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, also said its system management service would be increased from VND100,000 to VND130,000 per route from March 15.
Nguyen Manh Tung, an agent in Ha Noi’s Hai Ba Trung District, said the adjustment of airline ticket prices would more or less affect passengers. Many customers were surprised as they had to pay additional money for services relevant to their flights.
However, Tung said the rise was not high, at some VND40,000 per domestic route, while the airlines had launched diversified promotion programmes so customers would have more options to save money.
“It’s now a low-load period in the tourism season, the airlines are running lots of discounted ticket programmes, so the increase of service fees will not affect the passengers’ traveling demand much," Pham Thu Hang, an agent in Hoan Kiem District, said.
Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) head Lai Xuan Thanh said fierce competition in the aviation market was the key factor controlling the airlines’ strategy of pricing tickets.
He said ticket prices had practically been at a standstill in recent years, not even raised when fuel price moved up globally. Meanwhile, direct competition on the domestic and international segments among domestic and foreign airlines had reduced the ticket price significantly in recent years.
“Airlines’ ticket price increases are still under the price ceiling, which is managed by the CAAV. At present, the highest ticket price of domestic airlines is just 80 per cent of the regulated price ceiling,” Thanh said.
Early this month, CAAV sent a proposal to the Ministry of Transport to raise several aviation service charges to reduce peak-hour congestion and raise money for infrastructure development.
If the proposal is approved, domestic ticket prices will increase in the future.