|Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi is not as crowded as usual due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic (Photo: VNA)
According to statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), Vietnamese carriers transported a total 3.7 million passengers in February, representing a drop of 13.7 percent against the same month of 2019. The number of international passengers saw a drop of 39.5 percent to just 870,000, while domestic passengers slightly decreased by 0.7 percent to 2.8 million.
With regards to the Chinese market, three Vietnamese carriers – Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet and Jetstar Pacific – and Chinese carriers had to cancel 80 flights between the two countries per day.
Vietnam Airlines reported that it had to cancel 1,000 flights to/from China in February and the damage was estimated at around 250 billion VND (10.7 million USD) each week, adding that it was facing with a lot of difficulties due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The airline saw severe declines of around 50 percent in both international and domestic passengers and up to 70-80 percent in passengers from Northeast Asia.
The CAAV’s statistics also revealed a drop of 11.6 percent in the number of arrivals and departures at airports to 8.1 million in February. Of the figure, international passengers totalled 2.4 million, decreasing by 29.8 percent. Domestic passengers slightly decreased by 0.7 percent to 5.7 million.
The CAAV said that Vietnam’s aviation market saw two-digit decreases after many years of strong growth due to the direct impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The CAAV raised three scenarios for the aviation market in 2020.
In the best scenario, in which China announced the end of the epidemic before April, Vietnamese carriers would see a slight increase of 1.1 percent in the number of passengers, while the number of passengers received by the airports would be 119 million.
If the epidemic lasted until June, the respective figures would be a decrease of 5.7 percent and 111.6 million (down 4.2 percent).
In the worst-case scenario, if the epidemic did not end until August, the market would see a drop of 17.2 percent in the number of passengers, and the number of arrivals and departures through airports would be 98.5 million (down 15.5 percent).