Aviation market: More flights put pressure on infrastructure

VCN  - Vietnam's aviation sector growth used to stand at4 percent a year, but this rate has increased to 20 percent per year. Such ahigh growth rate puts pressure on transport infrastructure.  
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The domestic aviation market currently has the participation of 5 airlines. Photo: ST

Inadequacies ininfrastructure

Assessing the development of the aviation market, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said that in the period of 2014-2018, the aviation transport market of Vietnam had a high growth rate with a constant average growth of 20.5 percent in passengers and 13.2 percent in goods. In the domestic market, we currently have the participation of five airlines, contributing to building a highly competitive aviation market. The growth rate of the market in 2019 is forecast to continue to be maintained at double digits, with a growth rate of 11.8 percent in passengers and 3 percent in goods compared to 2018. Total passenger transport reached 78.3 million and freight reached more than 1.25 million tons. In 2020, the total market will reach 86.8 million visitors, an increase of 10.8 percent compared to 2019; with approximately 1.4 million tons of goods, up 11 percent compared to 2019.

“In the development process, although there have been certain achievements, there are still many complex issues, including the state management agency and businesses operating in the aviation sector. Therefore, we needto develop Vietnam's aviation in atruly sustainable way with a healthy competitive market, providing people with the safest andmost convenient service,” Deputy Minister Le Anh Tuan said.

The difficulties of the aviation market in recent years include infrastructure shortcomings. Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung, former Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that infrastructure is clearly a state problem to be solved. And to solve it, we need to specify what the difficulties are. This mostly happensatTan Son Nhat. We have planned for 3-4 years to expand, thesedifficulties not only affect the growth of aviation but also tourism growth, and it means thatthey will lead to many other things. Why have not we been able to do anything for three years at Tan Son Nhat? If you need to solve it quickly, you may not be able to use the traditional solution.

Land has not been released for eight years

As the largest airline in the country, Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, General Director of Vietnam Airlines, said the situation of high growth has been creating difficulties, especially pressure on infrastructure. The high growth rate makes the flight last longer, affecting quality and economic costs.

“After each month, an average flight fromHanoi to Ho Chi Minh City lasts 5 minutes longer; the risk of delayed flights will increase and affect quality and costs. In the early years, Vietnam's aviation growth was at 4 percent a year, but now, this rate is up to 20 percent per year. Such a growth rate puts pressure on transport infrastructure. We want the infrastructure removed for development,"said Mr. Duong Tri Thanh.

According to Dinh Viet Phuong, Deputy General Director of Vietjet Air, the current aviation infrastructure with operations of airlines is very difficult. For firms in Tan Son Nhat is currently 44 trips per day. We receive a huge demand from localities to increase the load. In the currentaviation infrastructure, we are cutting down each slot in Tan Son Nhat. If we continue to bring aircraft back, all companies want to bring the aircraft back, what is the problem of increasing the aircraft with the current infrastructure?

According to Mr. Dinh Viet Phuong, after eight years of operation with nearly 80 aircraft and carrying 100 million passengers, the airline still "does not touch the ground". “We keep asking for solutions and instructions, if we need to bid, we will do it; if we need to buy, to rent long-term or short-term, we will perform, however, for the past 8 years we are still in the situation of "no inch of land planted" and seeing the future 9-10 years to have 1 inch of land or not, it is still very difficult,"Mr. Dinh Viet Phuong said.

To solve the inadequacies in infrastructure, the Chairman of the Board of Vietnam Airport Corporation (ACV) Lai Xuan Thanh said that ACV is well aware that it is not allowed to let the market run according to its capacity, but the force must go ahead to meet market demand. ACV is also aware of the leading role in operating airport network under the Prime Minister's Decision 236/2018.

“ACV has developed a medium-term plan based on Decision 236, which fully meets the planning criteria with the airport network, including the investment in building Long Thanh airport, upgrading and expanding Tan Son Nhat, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Pleiku, Dien Bien, and Phu Quoc airports.But now, it is necessary to wait for the completion of the detailed planning of the system of airports and airfields. Aviation development must follow the planning,"Mr. Lai Xuan Thanh said.

By Xuân Thao/Bui Diep

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