Vietnam’s airline industry may be the third fastest-growing in the world by 2014behind only China and Brazil, the chief of the International Air Transport Association said, urging the country to boost investment in it.
During a recent visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Giovanni Bisignani, the director general and CEO of IATA, told VnExpress.net that by that time Vietnam is also expected to become the second fastest-growing domestic market after China.
He said the forecast is based on the global airline industry’s average growth of around 5 percent. By 2014 the growth in Vietnam will be more than 10 percent compared to 9.5 percent this year.
Besides, Vietnam’s gross domestic product is estimated to grow at 7 percent annually until 2015 while the numbers of foreign tourists and investors are increasing every year, both major factors in boosting the aviation market, he said.
Vietnam adds one aircraft a month and that is equivalent to adding a new firm in any other industry, he said. "However, Vietnam should not rest on its laurels."
By region, the Asia-Pacific is among the best performing in the aviation industry. By 2014 the industry will add another 800 million passengers a year, with the Asia-Pacific accounting for half, he said.
But he warned: "That is only an estimate. Vietnam's airline industry must be built through actual policies.”
It needs to invest in technology, infrastructure, and management to minimize costs, he pointed out.
IATA chief said upgrading capacity and simplifying and abolishing unnecessary procedures in the transport supply line is key to maintaining competitive advantages, he said.
Simplifying procedures by using technologies like the 2D bar coded boarding pass (BCBP) has helped IATA save $4.9 billion, he said, but Vietnam has been tardy in this regard.
By the end of last year almost all airlines worldwide had adopted the BCBP, but in Vietnam, the technology is only used at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC.
"This is a rare exception in a world that is over 99 percent BCBP-capable. I urge the Northern Airports Corporation to make the implementation of BCBP a priority," he said, estimating it will save the industry up to $1.5 billion annually.
With oil expected to climb to $84 a barrel, pushing fuel costs up 27 percent, IATA now estimates the global aviation industry’s profits at $9 billion this year, lower than its previous estimate of $11 billion.
Global GDP growth is expected to fall to 2.65 percent from 3.5 percent last year.
"Vietnam has to continue investing and developing. Otherwise, its airline industry will plunge into a crisis like in Europe.”
The 230-member IATA now accounts for 93 percent of the world's international traffic.