Within the last month, the strong recovery of the domestic transportation market occurred.

Jetstar Pacific opened two new air routes: HCM City – Singapore and Hanoi – Vinh City. The national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines joined forces with Indian Jet Airway to provide daily flights from HCM City to Delhi and Mumbai. On November 7, Vietjet Air opened the Hanoi – Siem Riep (Cambodia) and HCM City – Thanh Hoa routes.

The last three years saw air carriers expanding their fleets, and opening new air routes and putting more aircrafts into operation. This coincided with the Ministry of Transport’s report that Vietnam’s air transport has grown by 20 percent per annum, an ideal growth rate for transportation services.

The increasing transport demand and expansion of airlines has led to busier airports.

The Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi is designed to serve 6 million passengers a year, while the capacity is expected to increase to 9 million passengers by the end of the year when some new utilities are put into operation.

However, it has receives 13 million passengers in high season.

The Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City has a designed capacity of 20 million passengers a year, but it received 22 million passengers in the first 10 months of the year.

Other local airports have reported encouraging growth rates in recent years. The Can Tho Airport, for example, served 200,700 passengers in 2012 and carried 1,482 tons of parcels. The figures rose to 241,300 passengers and 1,693 tons, respectively, in 2013, and they are expected to rise to 250,000 and 1,863 tons of cargo this year.

The Da Nang International Airport, which received 3.1 million passengers in 2012 and carried 10,000 tons of cargo, plans to receive 4.8 million passengers and transport 17,000 tons of cargo this year.

A report showed that the airports in Vietnam have witnessed an average growth rate of 14-17 percent per annum since 2002.

Though having better performance year after year, business efficiency is modest if compared with their designed capacity. Only two of 22 operational airports, Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai, have been making profits.

Phu Quoc Airport, though having seen rapid growth recently, has received only one-fifth its designed capacity of 2.65 million passengers a year.

Can Tho Airport, designed to serve 3-5 million passengers and 5,000 tons of cargo a year, now runs at just one-tenth of the designed capacity.

Da Nang Airport, which is listed as one of the busiest airports, still needs 1.5 million passengers a year more to run at full capacity.

By Thanh Lich - VietNamNet Bridge - November 28, 2014