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Jan-Sept aviation market growth put at 20%   2010-10-14 - SGT

The country’s civil aviation market registered strong growth in the first nine months of the year, with both passenger and cargo segments picking up over 20% year-on-year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV).

CAAV’s preliminary figures about the market released on Tuesday indicate more than 15 million passengers went through Vietnam’s airports in the period, up more than 20% from a year ago.

Of the number, Vietnamese carriers were responsible for more than 11 million, up 24% year-on-year. The number of passengers on domestic and international flights of the flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines exceeded nine million, up by a whopping 34% compared to the first nine months of last year.

Jetstar Pacific still took small domestic market share, transporting some 1.5 million passengers in the first three quarters. This low-cost carrier has only 40 daily flights while the number of Vietnam Airlines domestic and international services is more than 290.

The strong expansion of Vietnam’s overall aviation market in the period was credited to Vietnam Airlines’ aggressive launch of new domestic and international air routes and its increase of flight frequencies.

In the period, Vietnam Airlines started to fly on HCMC-Danang-Dalat and HCMC-Can Tho-Phu Quoc runs, and from Hanoi to Vinh and Chu Lai in central Vietnam. On the international front, the airline began services from Hanoi to Japan’s Osaka, China’s Shanghai and Myanmar’s Yangon among others.

The more promotional air tickets offered by the two local players, Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific, stimulated demand for air travel in January-September. Growth in international arrivals also backed the aviation market.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Vietnam (VNAT), international visitors to Vietnam in the first three quarters jumped 34.2% year-on-year to 3.73 million. Air travelers to the country numbered nearly three million, up 32.7% over the same period last year.

As for the cargo segment, CAAV said domestic and foreign carriers transported 340,000 tons from January till September, a significant year-on-year increase of more than 36%.

The nation’s aviation market is expected to gain faster growth in the fourth quarter, as private airline Air Mekong entered the market on October 9 and the fact that more foreign airlines will launch their services to and from Vietnam.

CAAV has permitted Turkish Airlines and LOT Polish Airlines to fly to Vietnam later this year while Qatar Airways is gearing up for new flights to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and more services to Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC.

Air Mekong operates eight routes using four Bombardier jets and will increase the number to 10 in November this year with around 34 daily flights to the airports in Hanoi, HCMC, Danang, Con Dao, Pleiku, Buon Ma Thuot and Phu Quoc.

Vietnam Airlines is targeting 12 million passengers for its domestic and international flights this year compared to just over 9.34 million last year.



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