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20 October 2009

Vietnam’s airports post 5.5% traffic increase in Jan-Sep ’09

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Vietnam’s aviation market has registered higher growth lately than earlier this year, reported, citing figures provided by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV).

Vo Huy Cuong, director of CAAV’s Air Transport Department, said nearly 13 million domestic and international passengers went through all airports in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, up 5.5 percent on the year earlier period.

The January-September growth was higher than a mere 2 percent recorded in the first half of this year, and this is a clear sign of recovery for the country’s aviation market, though domestic airlines are still facing difficulties.

Cuong credited the higher growth to strong demand of the domestic segment. He gave an example that more than 615,000 locals traveled by air in September alone, up 23 percent year on year. Cuong however said September was usually the start of the low season for air travel in Vietnam and that the demand would not pick up until early November.

The number of international passengers traveling by air to and from Vietnam in September dropped by 1.2 percent over the year earlier period to some 642,000, Cuong said. However, he did not disclose the number for the January-September period.

According to the General Statistics Office, more than 2.26 million international passengers traveled by air to and from Vietnam in the first nine months of the year, a year-on-year decrease of 10.6 percent.

“The local segment is the main driver for the whole aviation market recovery,” Cuong told the Daily last week. He said this was why the whole market still grew albeit at a slower rate than last year.

About 23.4 million passengers went through all airports in Vietnam last year, up 15.7 percent over 2007. Last year saw the number of domestic passengers exceed 14 million, a year-on-year increase of 21.4 percent.

Cuong said many challenges remained ahead despite the global economy was on the track of recovery and more optimistic forecasts for the gross domestic product growth of Vietnam.


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