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Vietnamese airline offers backup aircraft for lease amid Tet high travel demand

Vietnamese airline offers backup aircraft for lease amid Tet high travel demand

Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 16:08 GMT+7
Vietnamese airline offers backup aircraft for lease amid Tet high travel demand
A newly-leased aircraft operated by Vietnam’s Pacific Airlines. Photo: BL / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese carrier Pacific Airlines has proposed offering its backup aircraft for lease if other local airlines are overwhelmed with surging travel demand as the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, is drawing near.

Pacific Airlines is the only airline in the country to announce that it has arranged one backup aircraft to serve the Tet holiday, about a week away.

Other member airlines under Vietnam Airlines Group, including Vietnam Airlines and Vasco, as well as local carriers can lease the backup plane from Pacific, it said.

Pacific Airlines said it is also ready to operate a daily average of 27 flights departing from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, and negotiated with its aircraft lessor to increase its fleet size to meet the demand.

As a result, both sides reached a deal for a dry-lease of two aircraft, which are set to serve Pacific Airlines flights scheduled for Tet peak travel periods, including one week ahead of Tet and another after the holiday.

A dry-lease is a leasing agreement whereby the lessor provides an aircraft to the lessee without a crew.

Pacific planned to increase the frequency of flights linking Ho Chi Minh City with central Vietnamese provinces such as Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Binh, and Quang Nam between February 4 and 19.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City serves a soaring number of passengers in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, commonly known as Tet. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City serves a soaring number of passengers in the run-up to the Lunar New Year holiday, commonly known as Tet. Photo: Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre

While local carriers are rushing to raise the frequency of their flights in the run-up to Tet, residents expressed their concern over a surge in flight delays.

According to statistics from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), domestic airlines operated 20,950 flights in December last year, higher than the previous months.

The on-time performance rate of local carriers in December reached 79.4 percent, down nearly five percentage points month on month and lower than the year 2023’s average of 84.5 percent.

The number of delayed flights accounted for 20.6 percent, up some five percentage points against the 2023 average figure of 15.5 percent.

Vietnamese carriers will operate 24,200 flights, equivalent to over five million seats during the upcoming Tet holiday, rising two percent and four percent, respectively, versus Tet 2023.

The increase has concerned aviation experts because Tan Son Nhat airport is already overloaded, and possible flight delays would lead to frustration among passengers.

The experts suggested the carriers arrange backup aircraft to reduce flight delays and cancelations caused by bad weather conditions or technical issues.

CAAV has instructed local carriers to implement measures aimed at minimizing flight delays and cancelations.

The directive emphasizes the importance of ensuring that passengers' Tet travel plans are not disrupted due to a shortage of aircraft.

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Hong Ngan - Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre News

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