Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam proposes to increase fleet size
|Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)|
In a document sent to the ministry, the CAAV said more aircraft are needed to satisfy the growing demand during the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), the year's biggest festival in Vietnam. But the number should not exceed that recorded in January 2020 (234 planes).
The figure would be higher in 2023 based on the market demand, airport infrastructure, operation and maintenance capacity of the airlines, as well as supervision capacity of the CAAV, according to the document.
The agency noted that the Vietnamese aviation sector, particularly the domestic market, has rebooted since March 2022 when Vietnam fully reopened its doors, and even returned to pre-pandemic 2019 levels in April of the same year.
The domestic market completely recovered, expanding by 30% in the 2022 summer as compared with 2019. Meanwhile, the international market started to come online in late 2022, recovering to about half of the pre-pandemic level.
The sector is expected to fully recover in the second half of 2023, requiring airlines to expand their fleets, the CAAV explained.
Statistics show that each plane carries an average of 250,000 passengers per year, and with the number of domestic passengers projected to reach 45.5 million this year, the domestic market alone needs 182 aircraft.
The Vietnamese airlines also need 230 aircraft for international routes in the first months of this year, which would rise to 250 in the closing months.
The domestic carriers, comprising Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Pacific Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Viettravel Airlines, are operating 225 aircraft, of which 35 are under either maintenance or preservation.
The aviation market recorded about 55 million passengers in 2022, rising 3.7-fold from the previous year and equivalent to 69.6% of that in the pre-pandemic 2019, the CAAV reported.
In particular, about 43.2 million passengers were transported domestically, increasing 3.5-fold from 2021 and 15.6% from 2019. At the same time, 11 million others were transported internationally, up 22-fold from 2021 and equivalent to 27% of that in 2019.
About 1.25 million tonnes of cargo were transported by air last year, representing 95% of that in 2021 and equivalent to the volume in 2019. It included 152,000 tonnes carried domestically and 1.1 million tonnes internationally.