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Vietnam air passengers figure witnesses tumble in 2020

December 23, 2020 | 12:11

With only 66 million passengers travel by air transportation in Vietnam this year, the industry experience a 43.5 percent year-on-year decrease given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and unfavorable weather conditions.

more commercial flights bring vietnamese citizens home starting dec 1 More commercial flights bring Vietnamese citizens home starting Dec 1
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Noi Bai International Airport (Photo: Dan Tri)
Noi Bai International Airport (Photo: Dan Tri)

22 airports across Vietnam accommodated 424,000 safe flights operated by 68 foreign and five Vietnamese carriers in 2020, down 548 flights from 2019, a report released in Monday by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam reveals.

They also handled nearly 1.3 million tons of cargo, down 14.7 percent year-on-year.

2020's dark outlook has been ascribed to the unprecedented impacts of Covid-19 and historic flooding in central Vietnam, CAAV stated.

Dinh Viet Thang, head of CAAV, told an industry review meeting the Covid-19 pandemic had put the brakes on the global aviation industry. In Vietnam, regular international flights have not yet been allowed to enter Vietnam, except for some specific cases that require government approval.

Vietnam ordered the suspension of all international flights to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus last March, with domestic travel demand taking a dive amid fears of the pandemic.

Between early October and mid-November, the central region and parts of the Central Highlands were hit by a succession of storms that brought torrential rains, resulting in severe flooding and landslides, forcing airports to close for several days to ensure passenger safety.

Passengers arrive at Tan Son Nhat international airport (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)
Passengers arrive at Tan Son Nhat international airport (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong)

Five local carriers, Vietnam Airlines, its subsidiary VASCO, VietJet Air, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, and Bamboo Airways, along with 68 foreign airlines from 25 countries and territories operate in the country.

CAAV reported 2,429 canceled flights by the five domestic carriers in the first 11 months this year due to technical problems, weather conditions, and other reasons, up 1 percent year-on-year. The unit earlier counted over 18,000 delayed flights during the period, down 4.3 percent from 2019.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and two budget carriers Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airlines have requested government support and refinancing loans. They estimated that under current conditions, the industry would only fully recover by 2023 at the earliest.

The National Assembly recently approved a support package for Vietnam Airlines.

Vietnam's aviation has been booming in recent years, with the country's biggest airports Tan Son Nhat in Saigon and Noi Bai in Hanoi usually inundated.

The $4.6 billion first phase of Long Thanh International Airport, designated for southern Dong Nai Province, has been approved by the government. Work is set to begin this month and complete in 2025.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VGP)
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VGP)

To avoid another possible outbreak of COVID-19, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has required to suspend international commercial flights.

Speaking at the Government Meeting on COVID-19 on the evening of December 1, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc emphasized the aim of "staying calmer and decisive". He asked the whole political system to fiercely join the war against the pandemic, raising responsibility and vigilance in all fields, as well as strictly follow the "5K Message", most importantly first 2 of all, which are wearing a mask and disinfecting.

"Continue to implement the strategy that was effective in the previous two outbreaks, which is to strictly control people entering from outside, completely zoning off the pandemic sources from inside the country, and effectively and responsibly treat the infected patients", the Prime Minister ordered.

He asked Ho Chi Minh City authorities to urgently and rapidly investigate, trace, and isolate all F1 and F2 suspicions relating to the positive cases reported, in order "not to let the third outbreak endanger the community".

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