|Despite strict pandemic control measures, the aviation industry shows signs of a rebound |
According to figures from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), from December 29 to January 10, local air carriers completed 4,480 flights with 547,000 passengers, posting a seat occupancy rate of 64 per cent.
On the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines’ ticket booking website, many flights on the Ho Chi Minh City-Hanoi route had sold out all economy-class tickets since January 15.
The number of passengers flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, as well as localities in the Central Highlands and northern regions, has bounced back strongly with the seat occupancy rate surpassing 70 per cent.
|According to the CAAV, about 140,000 Vietnamese would come back home for Lunar New Year. |
According to Dinh Viet Thang, chief of the CAAV, the travel demand from people on these routes saw a strong rebound.
This was also attested by reports from booking systems at several local airlines which noted that bookings from customers had exceeded 50 per cent of available tickets, even surpassing 90 per cent sometimes. Bookings for routes from Hanoi to other localities, however, remained modest.
Positive signs were also witnessed after several international routes were opened in January. Between January 1-7, Vietnam received 16 regular commercial flights from the US, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, and Taipei with around 1,000 passengers.
According to the CAAV, about 140,000 Vietnamese would come back home for Lunar New Year. The number of passengers is expected to exceed 30,000 per week, including Vietnamese citizens, overseas Vietnamese, and foreigners who are diplomats, experts, and investors.
In its latest report to the Ministry of Transport, the CAAV said it has pushed negotiations on resuming flights with aviation authorities in several markets, as well as raised the flight frequency on existing routes for Lunar New Year.
Likewise, the tourism industry also saw improvements with outbound markets. For instance, privately-held Vietravel has launched a tour package to the US west coast fetching $4,350 a passenger and to the Maldives for about $3,000 per passenger.
Nguyen Nguyet Van Khanh, deputy director of Marketing at Vietravel, said that these tours would depart on the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 3), adding that the price of outbound tours would pick up more than 30 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels due to a sharp hike in the ticket and hotel prices in those countries.
Vietravel envisages launching a 5-day package for customers to view the World Cup 2022 in Qatar in late 2022, with an estimated ticket price of $8,690 per passenger, as well as a combo package for an airline ticket and a 4-star hotel room for around $3,040 per passenger.
Vu Thi Bich Hien, PR manager at Flamingo Redtours, forecast outbound tours in 2022 would start with business trips to nearer destinations like Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and the US.
Khanh from Vietravel assumed that to quickly revive the green industry, the government’s support policies for both inbound and outbound tours are crucial.
Khanh also stressed the need to facilitate the opening of international travel to effectively support economic recovery.