Vietnamese airlines expand routes amid craft shortage
  • | | June 26, 2024 05:08 PM
Despite facing a serious aircraft shortage, Vietnamese airlines are still trying to increase frequencies or open more routes to serve the peak summer holiday season.

Bamboo Airways received another Airbus A320 from Royal Air Philippines under a wet lease contract on June 25. Photo by Nld.

On June 25, Bamboo Airways received another Airbus A320 from Royal Air Philippines under a wet lease contract. The aircraft will increase flights to popular tourist destinations like Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Quy Nhon during the summer holiday.

This is the third wet-lease aircraft Bamboo Airways has received this year. Two others were used during the Tet Lunar New Year Holiday travel season.

Due to internal difficulties and restructuring, Bamboo Airways had only five aircraft during the first half of this year, down from 30 last year.

Since January, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-cost carrier VietJet Air also reduced their flights using Airbus A321 aircraft due to technical issues with Pratt & Whitney's PW1100 engines. Vietnam Airlines were forced to ground 12 of its planes, accounting for 20 percent of its narrow-body aircraft, for engine maintenance, which is set to last until 2025. Similarly, Pacific Airlines' fleet has also been downsized.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, local airlines currently have only 160 operational aircraft, a drop of 60-70 planes compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing a recent workshop, Bamboo Airways CEO Luong Hoai Nam emphasised that domestic airfares can only fall if local airlines own more aircraft.

Nam shared that Bamboo Airways plans to lease one more aircraft by the end of the year to open additional domestic routes connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat, Thanh Hoa and Phu Quoc.

Vietnam Airlines is also receiving three more Airbus A320neo aircraft this year, with the first arriving in early July.

On Tuesday, Vietnam Airlines also expanded its international flight network by opening a new route connecting Hanoi with Chengdu, China.

This route will have four weekly flights on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

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