CAAV approves new flight schedule for Indochina Airlines

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SaigonTimes English - 59 month(s) ago 2 readings

HCMC - The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has passed a new flight schedule for Indochina Airlines, paving the way for this private airline to resume domestic services later this month.

CAAV approves new flight schedule for Indochina Airlines

By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily

HCMC - The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has passed a new flight schedule for Indochina Airlines, paving the way for this private airline to resume domestic services later this month.

Vo Huy Cuong, director of CAAV’s Air Transport Department, confirmed with the Daily on the phone on Thursday that the aviation authority’s deputy director general Lai Xuan Thanh had already signed an approval document for Indochina to take off again.

Cuong said the VND200-billion airline had basically met the requirements for financial capability, debt payment with partners and aircraft. These are the three major criteria CAAV set for the carrier to resume services after more than two months of suspension.

“Our policy is to provide Indochina with favorable conditions to fly again and maintain operations,” Cuong commented. “The new flight schedule is also a real test to the airline whether it will be able to fly and sustain flights as now is the start of a peak air travel season in Vietnam.”

Indochina Airlines will face challenges related to the surging but imbalanced demand for the flights from Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC to Hanoi a few days ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, when many people will return home for family reunion, but air travel is very low in the opposite direction.

Airline experts said the airline would provide a significant number of seats for the local market and quench the thirst of those in dire need of tickets for the flights on the HCMC-Hanoi and HCMC-Danang routes in the run to and after Tet, which falls on February 14.

Cuong said Indochina reported to CAAV that it would resume flights on January 20, or a few days after it receives two Boeing B737-800. As scheduled, the airline will operate five flights a week between HCMC and Hanoi, and one flight between HCMC and Danang.

However, Cuong warned Indochina of having its flight schedule canceled if it had any major debt and service issue with its partners arising after the take-off.

CAAV withdrew the flight schedule of Indochina in late November, days after it returned its only Boeing B737-800 to the aircraft leasing firm in Europe. The carrier owed accumulated debts of over VND30 billion to service providers including Vietnam Air Petrol Co. (Vinapco).

The management of Indochina Airlines said they would make every effort to resume services as some VND370 billion had been spent in the airline since its first commercial flight on November 25, 2008.

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