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|Emirates failed to offer passengers the compensation required by Vietnamese regulations Photo: Le Toan|
The results of the Aviation Authority (CAAV) inspection of operations in Vietnam by Emirates uncovered several shortcomings and faults in the company’s operation and provision of air services.
The penalty was issued by the CAAV over charges of unpublished non-refundable advance compensation policy, which it found to be a breach of conduct under local law. Emirates does not apply such a policy, thus its website and booking agencies do not have this information available for the public, while Article 4(3) of Circular No.14/2015/TT-BGTVT explicitly requires air transport companies to have such a policy and make information about it readily available.
As reported by the CAAV, since 2017 Emirates had 33 flights delayed for less than two hours and one cancelled flight in Ho Chi Minh City, while it had 23 delayed flights, including three that were delayed for more than three hours, and one for four hours, in Hanoi.
An inspection of the delayed and cancelled flights showed that flight EF393 with 403 passengers, scheduled to depart at 11.55PM on July 18 last year, was cancelled for technical reasons. The airline announced the cancellation to all passengers waiting to check-in at the airport and served food and drink as well as arranged accommodation for guests that required it.
However, Emirates then did not offer passengers the $150 non-refundable advance compensation as stipulated in Article 8 of Circular 14.
During the inspection, Emirates' reports have not met the inspector’s requirements and the reports and other related documents requested were submitted with delays.
In particular, the Emirates booking office submitted its 2017 report late and did not send the CAAV its unscheduled report on changing foreign employees in accordance with Article 12 of Circular No.81/2014/TT-BGTVT issued on December 30, 2014 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport.
The CAAV’s chief inspector has written up another report and fined Emirates to VND15 million ($652) for this violation.
Emirates officially opened its booking office and set up business in Vietnam in 2012. Currently, it operates daily flights between Dubai and two Vietnamese destinations, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2017, Emirates carried 124,646 passengers and 13,060 tonnes of goods to Ho Chi Minh City, and 81,864 passengers and 19,368 tonnes of goods to Hanoi.
Between January 1, 2018 and October 2018, there were a total of 107,857 passengers and 10,911 tonnes of goods flying with Emirates to Ho Chi Minh City, while there were 85,323 passengers and 16,313 tonnes of goods transported on the Hanoi route.
Based on European Commission Regulation 261/2004 on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of delayed boarding and cancellation or long delay of flights, in case of an Emirates flight being delayed for more than three hours on arrival, or cancellation at an EU airport, customers are entitled to compensation of up to €600 ($679) from the airline.