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31 July 2009

Vietnam to help airlines hit by global crisis   

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Vietnam will take measures to support airlines flying to and from the country to help them maintain services amidst the global economic slump, local newswire VietnamNet reported Wednesday, citing the finance ministry.

When necessary, the government will lower air services costs for carriers struggling with falling travel demand so that they can continue their services in Vietnam, the report said.

Airlines starting services in Vietnam, launching new routes or increasing flight frequency to and from the country will also benefit from the government’s preferential treatment, the report said.

Global passenger traffic may fall 8 percent in 2009, while losses may total $9 billion as the outbreak of H1N1 flu compounds the effects of the economic recession, Bloomberg quoted the International Air Transport Association as saying in June.

Vo Huy Cuong, head of the Aviation Transport Department at the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, said in April the number of flights registered to fly to and from Vietnam in the March-October period fell 4 percent from the same period last year.

The number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam fell 18.7 percent year-on-year to 2.17 million in the first seven months this year. The number of visitors from key markets, including China, South Korea and Japan, dropped by as much as 37 percent, figures from the General Statistics Office show.


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