HCMC – The Finance Ministry has approved the Transport Ministry’s proposal for new ceilings for single economy-class domestic airfares, paving the way for local airlines to offer more types of tickets and balance budgets.
Ministry approves higher domestic airfares
Viva Macau promotes premium-class tickets
By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily
A Vietnam Airlines aircraft on the taxiway before takeoff at the domestic terminal of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCMC - Photo: Minh Khoi HCMC – The Finance Ministry has approved the Transport Ministry’s proposal for new ceilings for single economy-class domestic airfares, paving the way for local airlines to offer more types of tickets and balance budgets.
The Finance Ministry approves the new highest airfare levels to be VND681,818 for a flight of less than 300 km, VND863,636 for less than 500 km, VND1,181,818 for less than 850 km and VND1,818,182 for longer routes.
The Finance Ministry said Decision 387/QD-BTC covering the new airfare ceilings would take effect March 1 and replace its decision that caps the highest level for economy-class domestic airfares at VND1.7 million (around US$90).
Deputy Finance Minister Tran Van Hieu signed the latest decision less than a month after the Transport Ministry proposed the new highest airfares for domestic routes in a document issued in late January.
Document No. 584/BGTVT-VT says the new airfare levels do not include value-added tax, which accounts for 10% of the fares applied by the national carrier Vietnam Airlines and local low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific.
Airline experts said the new decision would enable domestic airlines to offer more types of air-tickets and apply flexible modes to sell higher airfares for routes with strong demand and during high travel season as well as discount tickets during low season.
However, the decision clarifies that domestic airlines should be transparent in publicizing their airfares and the conditions they apply.
* Viva Macau Airlines is selling promotional premium-class fares on its website and at its ticket offices and agents for flights between Macau and Vietnam.
The single premium-class airfares between Macau and Hanoi and HCMC start from US$179 and US$199 respectively, and are available for booking until March 3 for travel between April 1 and October 24. The prices exclude taxes and charges.
Reg Macdonald, CEO of Viva Macau, said the airlines’ premium product was value for money which had been enhanced as the Hanoi/HCMC-Macau routes went from strength to strength.
Commenting on the performance of the HCMC-Macau route since its launch in 2008, Macdonald said it had gone so well that the carrier had increased the flight frequency to daily service in July, 2009.
Macdonald said Viva Macau had commenced direct services to Hanoi earlier this month as its commitment to the Vietnamese market. The airline now flies the wide-bodied Boeing 767 on both routes to HCMC and Hanoi.