Air Travel to Vietnam: Ready More Seating Capacity for Vietnam
Air Travel to Vietnam, several foreign airlines, upbeat about growing air travel to and from Vietnam, are pressing ahead with their plans for more seating capacity.
Thai Airways will add one flight on its Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City schedule in October. Nond Kalinta, general manager of the carrier in Vietnam, disclosed that the new flight would be on Thursday evening.
Air Travel to Vietnam, Kalinta told the Daily yesterday the additional flight would bring the number of Thai Airways flights from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City to 17, and flights to Vietnam to 31.
Air Travel to Vietnam, AirAsia is preparing to launch the Kuala Lumpur-Ho Chi Minh City service, hopefully this year to carry more people between Vietnam and Malaysia after the low-cost carrier has succeeded in flying Kuala Lumpur-Hanoi and Bangkok-Hanoi daily.
Malaysia Airlines will not add any flight this year but is planning bigger aircraft between Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam’s cities of Hanoi Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.
Terence Krish Swampillai, general manager of Malaysia Airlines, said the bigger-aircraft plan would be introduced when the market is ready for this.
“The market is big enough for Malaysia Airlines and we are looking at increasing our capacity,” he said.
Malaysia Airlines now operates Airbus A330-200s and Boeing 737-400s for 23 weekly flights between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Swampillai told the Daily that Malaysia Airlines had posted a year-on-year increase of 20-30% in passenger number in the year to date, and looking for a better 2008. “We expect to see more growth next year.”
Air Travel to Vietnam, he said the aviation market kept growing as it was supported by Vietnam’s economic expansion and more business and leisure travellers to and from Vietnam. “I think the market is now big enough for all airlines.”
Kalinta of Thai Airways is optimistic about both inbound and outbound travel from what the carrier has recently achieved in Vietnam.
He said the carrier was looking for a year-on-year increase of 15% in seat occupancy in Vietnam this year, adding air traffic in Vietnam would take “sharp growth” this year.
Airlines and booking agents forecast that air traffic will grow 30% this year. Last year, Vietnam attracted more than 12 million air passengers.
“Now is the time for more airlines to join the market, especially after the new terminal was opened at Tan Son Nhat Airport,” he said.
Thai Airways will move its check-in counters to the new terminal on August 30 while Malaysia Airlines has chosen this Friday. This terminal took soft opening last week.
The Southern Airports Authority told the Daily that all foreign airlines would move their check-in counters to the new terminal by the end of this month.