Vietnam Airlines (VNA), as reported by The Vietnamnet Global, is planning to offer more than 400,000 seats between September 1 and 4 to meet the rising travel demand during the upcoming four-day Vietnam National Day on 2 September 2022.
The figure represents an increase of more than 50% compared to the same period back in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The growth has demonstrated the ongoing recovery of the domestic aviation sector after a long period of suspension caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bid to meet the demand
The rising demand largely focuses on major and busy routes between Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang to popular destinations such as Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, and Da Lat, noting that Vietnam Airlines will continuously update market demand and flexibly adjust flights in a bid to meet the customers’ demand for the occasion.
The Vietnam Airlines Group, consisting of Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO, started selling tickets early for the Lunar New Year holiday or ‘Tet’ period from January 6, 2023, to February 5, 2023. These tickets went on sale on August 15th for the entire domestic and international flight network.
The Vietnam Airlines Group recommended that passengers purchase tickets through official channels and authorized ticket agents such as websites, mobile applications, ticket offices as well as asking for receipts to avoid buying fake tickets or tickets at inflated prices.
In order to save check-in time and avoid long queues at airports, passengers are advised to perform flight check-in procedures online via the official Vietnam Airlines website, the mobile application, or at Vietnam Airlines’ check-in kiosks available at the Noi Bai, Danang, and Tan Son Nhat airports.
Along with domestic flights, the carrier will increase flights connecting Vietnam and other Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, and flights between Vietnam and Australia.
It plans to double its international flight number in the period amid the loosening of migration regulations in many countries and territories.
On the occasion, Vietnam Airlines offers special ticket fares from 1.86 million VND (US$79.48) per leg, including taxes and fees, for business class; and 785,000 VND (US$33.6) per leg, including taxes and fees, for economy class.
Domestic aviation’s ongoing recovery
General Director of Vietnam Airlines, Lê Hồng Hà, in a statement made at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Vietnam Airlines on June 28, 2022, has positively reacted to the ongoing recovery of the domestic aviation sector.
“The Vietnamese airline market would see many positive changes because the Government had reopened and resumed domestic flights and international flight routes. However, the international airline market would still face many difficulties because of complicated disease developments, a sharp decline in vaccine effectiveness and high input fuel prices. The tourists travelling were mainly Vietnamese. The number of foreign customers had not been able to recover as before the pandemic.”
Significant increase in cost
Given the strong market recovery driven by the country’s tourism reopening post-pandemic, Vietnam Airlines has recorded a revenue of VNĐ18.3 trillion (USD 785 million) in its Quarter 2 financial performance, 2.8 times higher than the same period last year. However, the cost of goods sold increased strongly to VNĐ18.7 trillion, 3.3 times higher, causing the company to have a gross loss of VNĐ377 billion.
The airline continued losing due to the sharp increase in fuel prices. At the end of June 2022, the price of Jet A1 gasoline exceeded $160 per barrel, more than double last year’s average.
Revenue from financial activities reached VNĐ149.1 billion, up 5.4 percent compared to last year. Selling and administrative expenses increased by 111.8 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Besides, financial expenses were VNĐ1.15 trillion, 2.7 times higher than the same period last year.
As a result, Vietnam Airlines suffered a loss after tax of VNĐ2.6 trillion, down from the loss of VNĐ4.53 trillion in the second quarter of 2021.
Vietnam Airlines made a loss over 10 consecutive quarters, with negative equity mounting to VND4,900 billion ($210 million), its Q2 consolidated financial report shows.
Vietnamese cultural identity
Vietnam Airlines has spearheaded Vietnam’s aviation market – one of the fastest-growing domestic markets in the world – throughout 20 years of development at a double-digit annual growth rate. Positioning itself as a modern carrier with an internationally recognisable brand characterised by traditional Vietnamese culture, Vietnam Airlines aims to achieve 5-star rating and become a major airline in Asia.
Operating a modern fleet of more than 100 aircraft, Vietnam Airlines is the first airline in Asia-Pacific to simultaneously operate two new generation aircraft Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Vietnam Airlines takes great pride in offering its passengers consistent on-time-performance, absolute safety, and high-quality services embedded with Vietnamese cultural identity.
The Vietnamese government owns a more than 86 percent stake in Vietnam Airlines through two entities and Japan’s ANA Corporation owns a 5.6 percent stake.
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