Airlines add flights on stronger Tet demand
By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Vietnamese airlines are providing the domestic market with many more seats to satisfy surging demand for air travel in the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), the biggest holiday in Vietnam.
Newcomer VietJet Air will offer three daily flights between HCMC and Hanoi from January 10, or one more flight compared to its current frequency on this south-north route, about two weeks after the airline joined the country’s aviation market and less than two weeks before Tet begins.
One more flight means 180 seats for one sector. Luu Duc Khanh, managing director of VietJet Air, told the Daily over the weekend that the second Vietnamese low-cost carrier after Jetstar Pacific would opt for a steady increase in frequency and domestic network depending on the market demand.
Air Mekong has announced a rise of 25% in its flight number over the more than 30 daily services the private carrier conducts on normal days. The flight increase results in up to 25,000 seats for the market during peak days of Tet.
Air Mekong’s representative Truong Thanh Vu confirmed that seat scarcity occurred to the flights from HCMC to certain destinations, including the central coastal city of Quy Nhon. However, seats on the other flights during Tet are available for bookings.
This carrier and other airlines including Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific called for customers to book fares on their websites, ticketing offices, call centers and authorized agents to avoid frauds.
As already announced, Vietnam Airlines is performing an extra 846 flights or 155,600 more seats compared to normal days from January 7 till February 12 on the routes with surging demand for air travel during Tet, which begins on January 23.
The additional flights will be from HCMC to Hanoi, Danang, Haiphong, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, and vice versa. Vietnam Airlines reported increases of 52% in seating capacity for the HCMC-Hanoi route compared to normal days, up to 71% for the HCMC-Danang services and over 30% for other routes.
The national flag carrier said it would not collect any more charges that are not included in the fare and required airport tax and surcharges. Customers should examine their seat classes and fares on their tickets as well as ask ticketing offices and agents to issue receipts.