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|Pick-up area at Noi Bai International Airport. Expanding aviation infrastructure is a pressing issue for Vietnam to meet increasing air travel demand. - VNA Photo|
However, it is vital to boost the development of aviation infrastructure as well as service quality.
In early 2019, Bamboo Airways were granted a licence for commercial flights, which offered more options for passengers.
The aviation market in Vietnam was becoming more competitive, experts said, adding that passengers would benefit from dropping prices and improved service quality.
Le Cao Cuong, director of An Vien Law Firm, said that with more carriers participating in the aviation market, passengers would have greater opportunity to travel by air at more reasonable costs.
The International Air Transport Association forecast the number of airline passengers traveling by 2037 could double to reach 8.2 billion, bolstered by strong demand in the Asia-Pacific region. Vietnam was one of five markets with the fastest growth rates in air passengers, besides China, the US, India and Indonesia.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the country’s aviation market now had the participation of 68 foreign carriers from 25 countries and territories together with six domestic carriers, namely Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vasco, Hai Au and Bamboo Airways. Today, there were nearly 130 international flight routes from Vietnam and 48 domestic routes.
CAAV’s statistics showed domestic carriers handled more than 50 million passengers in 2018, a rise of 14 per cent over the previous year, together with nearly 400,000 tonnes of cargo, up by 26 per cent.
Dinh Viet Thang, CAAV’s Director, said that with a population of more than 90 million, Vietnam’s aviation market should have the participation of more domestic carriers to offer more options for passengers and meet the increasing air traveling demand.
Air Asia and Hai Au in December signed a memorandum of understanding to found a low-cost carrier in Vietnam.
Vietstar Airlines Multirole Corporation was applying for a licence to operate commercial flights. Tourism company Vietravel also intends to found an airline.
These developments demonstrate the attractiveness of Vietnam’s aviation market.
However, surviving and growing is another story.
Amid the rapid growth and increasing competition of Vietnam’s aviation market, improving service quality and passenger experience becomes vital for carriers.
The overloading of major airports such as Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat is also significantly affecting service quality.
Ngo Hong Minh, head of Vietnam Airlines’ market services department, said that the carriers proposed the CAAV and Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) hasten the upgrade and expansion of airports to enhance their passenger handling capacity, especially Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat.
According to ACV, the airline industry has three important components: airlines, infrastructure and operation systems.
It was important to develop all the components for the industry’s rapid but sustainable growth, it said.
AVC said that airports were expected to handle 131 million passengers and 2.2 million tonnes of cargo in 2020, putting pressure on the airport system.
By 2020, Vietnam plans to have 10 international airports and 13 domestic airports. The total number of airports will increase to 28 by 2030, according to AVC.
Experts said it was important to have proper airport planning with regards to tourism and socio-economic planning and develop good transport connectivity to the airports.
Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that the new carriers and airports would be enhanced to ensure service quality, safety and security.