Along with easing social distancing and quarantine rules, director of the Communications Department at Vietnam Airlines Dang Anh Tuan talked to VIR’s Nhat Ha about the carrier’s flexible plans to offer safe lights as soon as permitted.
What do you think of the resumption of the aviation industry, and how has Vietnam Airlines prepared for the reopening?
|Dang Anh Tuan |
According to the latest report of the International Air Transport Association, the global aviation market in 2022 will recover at least 88 per cent in comparison to 2019, and it’s estimated that the market will be fully recovered at the pre-pandemic level in 2023. However, the rate will be different for each country, mainly based on the speed of vaccinations and border reopening.
In Vietnam, with the high speed of vaccinations especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, I believe that both domestic and international flights will resume in the fourth quarter of this year. At Vietnam Airlines, we built forecasts the market recovery in 2022 according to three major scenarios – ranging from low, medium, and high levels – to render our operation flexibly.
Vietnam Airlines prepared a high-positive scenario in which the country’s domestic and international aviation recovery could reach 88 and 49 per cent, respectively, compared to 2019, if the country can implement its vaccination campaign completely in the first quarter of 2022 and no serious outbreak happens again.
In its medium and low scenario, Vietnam Airlines forecasts a recovery rate of 68 and 50 per cent, respectively, for the domestic market, and 26 for the low scenario for the international market. The recovery of the market depends mainly on vaccinations and the open-sky policy of the government.
Within 11 days of the pilot resumption for domestic flights, Vietnam Airlines sold all tickets within a few hours. What are the hottest anticipated routes and are there any plans to resume other routes?
After several months of social distancing, the demands on travelling increased sharply. Within the pilot to resume domestic flights, Vietnam Airlines operated 16 routes with 150 flights and transported nearly 12,000 passengers.
Currently, our hottest routes are flights connecting Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City. The next routes include flight routes to central provinces such as Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, and others will also be explored.
We will try our utmost to restore almost all domestic flights soon. With the green light from local authorities, Vietnam Airlines plans to operate nearly 40 routes across Vietnam, similar to the situation before the latest outbreak. We will also reopen flights to new destinations like Con Dao, Dien Bien, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, and Lam Dong.
The frequency of flights will also increase gradually to meet the demand, from 90 flights per day on October 21 to 120 flights per day at the end of October, following the new regulations of the Ministry of Transport.
After months of social distancing, what difficulties has Vietnam Airlines faced in preparing facilities and human resources?
Vietnam Airlines maintains regular training courses and periodically conducts health checks of flight crews to ensure their best ability to minimise the impact of quarantine policies and for them to be ready to fly again.
Regarding aircraft, we have deployed maintenance and technical inspections of a large number of aircraft to prepare for the resumption. The take-off reliability of each aircraft is controlled strictly to ensure maximum safety. If the market recovers strongly, Vietnam Airlines will put another 70-80 aircraft into operation, including model like the Boeing 787 and Airbus 350.