Vietnamese airlines carried approximately 16.6 million passengers in 2011, which is slightly lower than the projection by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) at the start of last year.
In March 2011, the aviation authority forecast that Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary Vietnam Air Services Co. (Vasco), Jetstar Pacific and Air Mekong would be able to carry a combined number of 17.5 million passengers, up 20.9% on the year ago. But, economic challenges worldwide and in Vietnam put the brake on the growth, according to CAAV.
In its report sent to Transport Minister Dinh La Thang, CAAV said the number of all passengers on board flights of the local carriers grew 13.6%. Vietnam Airlines and Vasco took the lion’s share with over 80% of Vietnam’s domestic aviation market segment.
According to CAAV, Vietnamese airlines had 95 aircraft but budget carrier Jetstar Pacific and Air Mekong operated just over 10 planes and the rest belonged to the national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines.
Vietnamese airlines offer flights on 39 air routes from Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai and Danang airports to 17 local airports. Again, Vietnam Airlines services all these routes while Jetstar Pacific and Air Mekong mainly conduct flights on major routes from HCMC and Hanoi to other destinations.
On the overall aviation market, CAAV reported that more than 50 Vietnamese and foreign airlines transported 23.7 million passengers on their flights to and from Vietnam last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.3% compared to the year before.
Vietnamese airlines accounted for 39.3% of the international market segment, up a mere 0.4 percentage point compared to 2010.
CAAV projected that local airlines would post 18.5 million passengers in all and 220.000 tons of cargo this year, up 12% and 13% respectively, as the country’s second low-cost carrier VietJet Air has joined the domestic aviation market. SGT