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Airlines look to exploit domestic market   2010-09-01 - Viet Nam News

Rising demand is fuelling growth in the domestic airline industry, aviation experts said yesterday, August 31.

A Vietnam Airlines plane lands at Phu Quoc Airport in the southern province of Kien Giang. (Photo: VNS)
A Vietnam Airlines plane lands at Phu Quoc Airport in the southern province of Kien Giang. (Photo: VNS)
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam, the country’s airports welcomed 26.16 million passengers and handled 446,000 tonnes of goods in 2009, four times the figure for 2000. In the first seven months of this year, the number of air passengers surged 33 per cent against the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the domestic aviation market has seen growth of 20 per cent in revenue compared to the same period last year.

The authority further said that existing airlines had not tapped the full potential of the aviation market.

Despite the proliferation in the number of airlines operating in Viet Nam, only domestic carriers Viet Nam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific Airlines exploit local routes. Furthermore, the vast majority of their flights are between Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang and Phu Quoc Island.

Viet Nam Airlines alone accounts for about 80 per cent of the domestic aviation market, flying 300 routes a day. However, due to a shortage of aircraft, it is failing to fully meet demand, said Trinh Hong Quang, the airline’s deputy general director.

Meanwhile, Air Mekong is planning to begin operations on October 10, flying between Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc Island.

In addition, an operating licence has been granted to Blue Sky Air, the first private carrier to use helicopters and hydroplanes.

Blue Sky Air is hoping to tap rising demand for air transport, said Do Anh Quan, Blue Sky Air’s general director.

Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam, said regulations governing the establishment of new carriers encouraged greater competition in the aviation market.

There are nine local passenger and cargo carriers operating in Viet Nam – Viet Nam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vasco, Viet Air, Mekong Air, Blue Sky Air, Indochina Airlines, VietJet Air and Trai Thien Air. Goods carrier account for about 80 per cent of the market.

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