Minister of transport calls for resumption of international flights

Thursday, May 07, 2020 14:08

A corner of T2 Terminal at Noi Bai International Airport. The aviation industry is expected to restore the domestic market by the middle of next year and international market by the end of 2021 — Photo

Viet Nam’s Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has called for the resumption of international flights in and out of the country.

The minister made the call during a briefing of the transport ministry, as airlines prepare to restart domestic routes following the easing of social distancing measures designed to contain and control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dinh Viet Thang, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), spoke at the May briefing held by the Ministry of Transport in Ha Noi on Thursday, saying that the air transport sector is recovering quickly after the regulations have been gradually eased.

Thang said in the past six days alone, including four public holidays, domestic airlines carried 230,000 passengers, reaching an average of 39,000 passengers per day, 38 per cent of the figure last year.

“It is likely that the domestic aviation market will recover by the middle of next year. Regarding the international market, it may recover by the end of 2021,” Thang said.

Domestic airlines carried about 1.231 million passengers and 105 million tonnes of goods in the first four months of this year, down 27.5 per cent and 7.2 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Tran Bao Ngoc, director of the transport ministry’s Department of Transport, said the aviation sector is the most affected of the five transport sectors, including railway and waterway.

He said Vietnamese airlines have stopped operating almost all domestic and international routes, running only a few flights to transport passengers from Viet Nam to several international destinations, cargo flights and three routes connecting Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City with a minimum frequency to serve the essential needs of air transport.

“Since April 1, the number of passengers travelling by air is only by 1-2 per cent compared to the time before the pandemic,” Ngoc said.

Vietnam Airlines Group is one of the most affected businesses. In the first quarter of this year, the firm’s consolidated revenue decreased by about 26 per cent.

The revenue and profit of Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) decreased by 24 per cent, while the flight control output and revenue of the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) decreased by 60 per cent year-on-year.

"Air transport is taking place in a worse situation than expected, with an estimated volume of about 43 million passengers carried in 2020, down 46 per cent year-on-year,” Ngoc said.

At the briefing, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The directed the Department of Transport and CAAV to propose the restoration of a number of international flights with very limited frequency, giving priority to experts and officials, while ensuring strict control of anti-pandemic measures as well as social distancing. — VNS

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