Vietnam aviation sector braces for New Year rush
Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport and airlines have begun to implement decongestion measures to cope with the expected rush during Lunar New Year in early February.
The airport will increase the number of flights from 660 to 689 during the busiest days.
According to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), this year the airport served around 26 million passengers though the 25-million mark was only expected to be reached in 2020.
So the airport is often overloaded during peak hours and aircraft have to fly around before landing.
"A series of new routes has just been added and more aircrafts have come, but the infrastructure is overloaded," a spokesman for an airline said.
The year-end weather is often worse than at other times and that too is expected to impact flights.
"To improve the situation, Tan Son Nhat Airport is expanding parking bays and runways and adding security-check counters," Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper quoted Dang Tuan Tu, director of HCM City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport Authority, as saying.
All airlines have reviewed their operations, including flight timings and technical management, and discussed improving efficiency with airport and ground services operators.
Check-in counters are now closed 40 minutes before take-off.
Vietnam Airlines is reviewing and setting up leaner operations.
"Vietnam Airlines has adopted information technology to save time for passengers and ensure flights leave in time," a spokesperson said.
This Lunar New Year will see Vietjet Air operate 250 flights a day.
"Our human resources and equipment have been well arranged for Lunar New Year," a spokesman for the carrier said.
"Roads to Tan Son Nhat Airport can get congested at any time and aviation procedures might take longer due to crowds, and so customers should be at the airport three to four hours before their flights."
Authorities also suggested that the number of relatives and friends accompanying passengers to the airport should be reduced.
Vietnam Airlines transfers routes to VASCO
Vietnam Airlines Corporation will hand flights between Hanoi- Dien Bien and Hanoi- Vinh over to the Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) from January 1, 2016.
VASCO, an affiliate of Vietnam Airlines, will be responsible for 14 round trips on the Hanoi- Dien Bien route every week and seven round trips on the Hanoi- Vinh route using ATR-72 aircraft. Vietnam Airlines will continue to operate its Hanoi- Vinh flights with seven round trips per week on an Airbus A321.
The transfer is part of Vietnam Airlines’s strategy to develop VASCO into an important air carrier, meeting the increasing travel demands of customers.
Vietnam Airlines has also transferred Ho Chi Minh City- Rach Gia- Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City- Phu Quoc- Can Tho flights to VASCO, and Hanoi- Tuy Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City- Tuy Hoa and Ho Chi Minh City- Chu Lai to Jetstar Pacific Airlines, in which Vietnam Airlines holds a 70 percent of stake.
Jetstar Pacific to increase flights during Tet holiday
Jetstar Pacific plans to increase the number of flights on12 domestic routes for the benefit of passengers during the Lunar New Year period from January 22 to March 8, 2016.
The budget airline said in a recent statement that it would also add three Airbus A320 aircraft to handle the rise in the number of travellers before and after the Lunar New Year holiday from February 6 to 13.
As per the schedule, the airline will increase the number of flights on the HCM City-Hanoi route from 12 to 13 daily, and on the HCM City-Da Nang route from four to six flights daily.
The number of flights from HCM City to Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh and Hue, besides Nha Trang and Phu Quoc will be increased from three to four each day.
The airline will also add more flights between Chu Lai and HCM City, Buon Ma Thuot and Vinh.
Jetstar Pacific is offering a ‘Buy One, Free Return' plan, with cheap tickets ranging from 450,000 VND (21.4 USD) to 1.02 million VND (48.5 USD) for all domestic and international flights between December 24 and 27, 2015.
The airline flies on 32 domestic and international routes, and is expected to handle 18 million passengers by the end of this year.
The two largest shareholders of Jetstar Pacific – Vietnam Airlines and Qantas (Qantas Airways) of Australia – said they would help to increase the budget airline's fleet to 30 Airbus A320s by 2020.
Vietnam News Agency - December 25, 2015