Aviation sector to recover and develop its market
NDO – After a long period of “hibernation” due to the Covid-19 epidemic, with great internal effort and the practical support of the Government and their partners, domestic airlines have recovered impressively and expanded their markets and are ready and willing to reopen international routes as permitted.
Expanding flight network
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) on June 22 coordinated with Can Tho City to hold the seminar “Vietnamese tourism – a bright destination” as well as a forum on promoting tourism development in the Mekong River Delta region.
At the event, VNA signed a cooperative agreement on tourism stimulation with the localities that had new air routes directly connecting with Can Tho. The airline also announced four routes linking Can Tho with Hai Phong, Vinh, Buon Ma Thuot and Da Lat. On the occasion, VNA launched the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to Can Tho for the first time. The airlines in the Vietnam Airlines Group, including VNA, Pacific Airlines and Vasco, are currently operating seven air routes from Can Tho to Hai Phong, Hanoi, Vinh, Da Nang, Buon Ma Thuot, Con Dao and Phu Quoc. In particular, three new Can Tho – Hai Phong, Can Tho – Vinh and Can Tho – Buon Ma Thuot routes were officially put into operation on June 22.
With the addition of these air routes, the Vietnam Airlines Group is expected to operate 52 return flights and transport 12,000 passengers via Can Tho international airport. According to the Vice Chairman of Can Tho City People’s Committee, Duong Tan Hien, the opening of the domestic routes connecting Can Tho with Vinh, Hai Phong and Buon Ma Thuot as well as the organisation of the seminar on domestic tourism stimulation were practical activities to gradually rejuvenate the tourism sector following the Covid-19 pandemic. They were opportunities to attract more investors to Can Tho and other provinces in the Mekong River Delta region. VNA will continue with a new route between Can Tho and Dat Lat with three round trip flights per week, raising the total number of flights to and from Can Tho to 55 per week.
These routes will create favourable conditions for visitors to explore unique destinations in Can Tho and the Southwest region, such as Ninh Kieu wharf, Cai Rang floating market, Tram Chim national park, flowers and fruit gardens.
Linkage for tourism development
VNA Deputy General Director Le Hong Ha said: “The Mekong River Delta is a potential market that VNA has paid much attention since it formed a branch in Can Tho ten years ago. Can Tho a key gateway with seven routes connecting directly to other localities in the country. Through these routes, VNA expects to contribute to the improvement of Can Tho international airport as well as economic development in the localities, especially in the context that the whole country is redeveloping tourism and the economy in this new normal period”.
According to Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways (BBA) Truong Phuong Thanh, once the Vietnam Aviation Administration proposed airlines restart domestic flights under the allocated schedule, BBA quickly restarted its domestic flight network.
The airline’s normalisation roadmap prioritised routes in the localities where trade and investment activities can be facilitated quickly such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. So far, BBA has restarted 75-80% of its domestic flight network. Notably, the airline has witnessed an occupancy rate equal to the Lunar New Year Festival, even higher on several routes. In addition to the restoration of the domestic flight network, BBA is researching the building of new routes to enhance regional linkage and inter-provincial tourism.
At the recent conference held to launch a programme on stimulating domestic tourism in Ho Chi Minh City, Director of International Sales and Distribution Jay L.Lingeswara from Vietjet Air said that Vietnam possesses many safe and attractive destinations such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc; unique cultural and tourism spaces such as Buon Ma Thuot; beautiful pristine beaches in Quy Nhon City (Binh Dinh Province); and the largest cave complex in the world in Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park (Quang Binh Province).
Along with travel businesses, Vietjet Air has quickly returned to the sky with many promotional programmes to attract more visitors to attractive destinations around the country. Its recent new air routes, including Hanoi – Dong Hoi (Quang Binh), Hai Phong – Quy Nhon (Binh Dinh), Vinh – Phu Quoc and those connecting Da Nang with Phu Quoc, Da Lat, Buon Ma Thuot (Dak Lak), Vinh and Thanh Hoa, will bring tourists to the most beautiful landscapes in Vietnam.
Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh affirmed: “We highly appreciate domestic airlines as they have proactively joined the stimulus programmes with discounts on tickets. We also strongly support the activities of the association and tourism enterprises that have contributed to the success of the tourism stimulation programme”.
Vietnam has brought the epidemic under control and is entering a period of economic recovery. With this spirit of initiative, the VTA has coordinated with airlines to develop stimulus programmes on a national scale. Although both the aviation and tourism sectors have been most affected by Covid-19, practice has proved that they have the ability to recover quickly and have taken appropriate and flexible measures, contributing to promoting other sectors. Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, Vo Huy Cuong, said that the aviation industry has returned to its state prior to the outbreak of the epidemic. Airports have been crowded again. The sector has taken advantage of opportunities to recover and develop sustainably as well as showing a willingness to receive certain international tourists towards creating a safe travel area. The administration and the airlines are studying and seeking opportunities to reopen all air routes as before the Covid-19.
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