In its final report provided to the Daily on Monday, CAAV said that the number of passengers going through the country’s airports reached 17.5 million last year, up 8.4% year-on-year and four percentage points higher than previous estimates.
Last year, more than 11.6 million passengers flew with local airlines, comprising the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary Vietnam Air Services Co. (VASCO), Jetstar Pacific and Indochina Airlines. The figure represented high growth of 12% year-on-year for the domestic segment.
Vietnam Airlines as the country’s only airline operating international flights in addition to domestic flights transported more than 9.3 million passengers in 2009, up 6.64% on the year before.
CAAV said airlines saw their cargo take a slight increase of 2% year-on-year in 2009 to 346,000 tons. Domestic carriers transported 141,000 tons of cargo, up 4.2% year-on-year while foreign airlines accounted for the remainder.
Despite the single-digit growth in passenger number and cargo volume, the performance of Vietnam’s aviation market remained encouraging if the situation of global airlines was taken into account. Last year, global airlines had to cope with weak air travel demand and other challenges as a result of the global downturn and the H1N1 swine flu.
International media quoted the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines as saying that air travel in this region fell 5.7% in 2009 as its 17 member airlines transported 132.9 million passengers compared to slightly over 140 million in 2008.
The association accounts for around one-fifth of global passenger traffic and one-third of global cargo traffic, and groups Vietnam Airlines as well as All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific , China Airlines, Dragonair, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. These foreign carriers currently operate flights to and from Vietnam.
Jetstar Pacific Airlines is offering a complementary JetSaver Light fare exclusive of fees to passengers aboard the local low-cost carrier’s domestic flights with mature relatives and friends under a major promotional program.
The program allows the companion of a passenger to board free-of-charge on the carrier’s flights from HCMC to Hanoi, Danang, Hue, Vinh and Haiphong and vice versa when they book tickets for the same flights on www.jetstar.com.
The tickets for two passengers start from US$26 for a single trip from HCMC to Danang and Hue, from US$45 for a one-way trip from HCMC to Vinh and Haiphong, and from US$52 for a single HCMC-Hanoi trip.
Jetstar Pacific loads such tickets on the website from 6 a.m. on January 26 till 11:59 p.m. on January 29, and applies promotion to a group of at least two people and not more than eight people flying with the airline on the same flights. The allowable travel periods are from April 1 to 21, and from May 6 to 25.
The tickets must be paid online by the credit cards of MasterCard, Visa, JCB and AMEX as well as the debit card ATM Connect 24 issued by Vietcombank. Children of less than two years old are admitted onboard free-of-charge, but are not counted as the companion of passengers.