Proposed fleet capacity expansion for Vietnamese airlines

January 07, 2023 | 09:00
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The move would return the civil aircraft fleet capacity of the five Vietnamese carriers to 234, undoing the losses seen since December 2020.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) proposed to the Ministry of Transport that Vietnamese airlines be permitted to immediately bring the passenger fleet back up to 234 aircraft to fulfil the demand for the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival in 2023.

Proposed fleet capacity expansion for Vietnamese airlines

Chairman of Vietnam Airlines' Board of Directors Dang Ngoc Hoa projected, "In an optimistic outlook, the Vietnamese aviation industry could return to its 2019 size by 2023 or, more conservatively, by 2024."

Since March 2022, Vietnam's air transport business has exhibited indications of recovery, particularly on the domestic front, according to the CAAV. By allowing Vietnamese airlines to expand their fleets within a reasonable timeframe, airlines will be able to lease aircraft at a fair cost and execute plans to acquire aircraft in accordance with signed aircraft purchase agreements, therefore avoiding fines for contract violations.

According to statistics based on real airline operations in Vietnam, one aircraft carries an average of 250,000 people every year. There are 182 aircraft dedicated solely to the domestic market, which is expected to reach 45,5 million passengers by 2023.

In the international market, it is anticipated that Vietnamese airlines will carry about 13.6 million passengers, equal to 57 aircraft, based on the targeted market share of 42 per cent. According to this estimate, the demand for aircraft operated by Vietnamese airlines in 2023 will increase monthly from 230 aircraft initially to 250 by the end of the year.

Currently, the global aviation sector is rebounding, resulting in a rise in aircraft demand and a shortage of aircraft on the global aircraft leasing market.

In April 2022, the domestic market did return to its 2019 level. In June, July, and August, the domestic market completely recovered, with a growth rate of over 30 per cent compared to the same three months in 2019. For the foreign market, the rate of recovery is slower, but there has been a burst in the last months of 2022, with a 50 per cent increase over the same period in 2019.

Currently, five Vietnamese airlines (Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Pacific Airlines, Bamboo Airways, and Vietravel Airlines) operate a total of 225 aircraft. However, only 190 are operational, with 12 undergoing repair and 23 undergoing maintenance.

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