Vietnam likely to have 5th local air carrier

Vietnam will likely have the fifth air carrier in the years to come as local tour operator Vietravel looks to develop its own carrier, called Vietravel Airlines, which will be headquartered in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, said Nguyen Quoc Ky, general director of the firm.

vietnam likely to have 5th local air carrier hinh 0
Nguyen Van Phuc (L), deputy head of the Tourism Department of Thua Thien-Hue Province, welcomes the first visitors to Hue by air at Phu Bai International Airport on January 1 (Photo: Thua Thien Hue provincial Department of Tourism)

Addressing a meeting held on January 14 in Hue City introducing tourism plans for the province this year, Ky said the establishment of the carrier was aimed at fully exploiting provincial tourism and the local airway sector.

Vietnam’s population has reached nearly 100 million people and the number of international visitors to Vietnam is on the rise every year, while there are only four local carriers: Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, VietjetAir and Bamboo Airlines.

Besides this, only 45% of 2.2 million foreign visitors to Hue last year stayed in the province for sightseeing activities. Thus, there is still room for growth in both the local airway and tourism sectors for Vietravel, Ky explained.

Nguyen Van Phuc, deputy head of the provincial Department of Tourism, told the Saigon Times that Vietravel’s plan demonstrates its determination to cooperate with Hue in bolstering provincial tourism in a more efficient and sustainable manner, with Hue City set as the highlight in the firm’s itineraries for local and foreign tourists.

Phuc added that if the plan is to be realized, Hue would have additional domestic and international air routes, more regular and charter flights and many new customers. Also, Phu Bai International Airport will be fully exploited as a result, particularly when the airport is scheduled to accommodate up to five million passengers annually (currently receiving 1.5 million passengers per year), after it is upgraded in the next two years.

Over the past few years, Vietravel reportedly has made initial preparations for establishing its own carrier, through collaborating with its business partners in operating charter flights. The tour operator has organized an average of some 300 charter flights annually to many local and international destinations over the past two years.

Saigon Times

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