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NEWS UPDATES 6 September 2010

Air transport makes Vietnamese fruit competitive

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Demand for air cargo has increased strongly in recent months as many Vietnamese exporters look to shorten transportation time for their export cargo, especially of fresh fruits, industry insiders say.

This is part of efforts to raise the competitiveness of Vietnamese products in international markets, they add.

Mai Xuan Thin, sales manager of the Rong Do Company in HCM City which exports fruits and vegetables, said his company exported almost three tonnes of dragonfruit a week by air to the EU market.

Although air freight was rather high, the fruits remained fresh on arrival in the markets. This made them easier to consume as also fetch higher prices than fruit shipped by sea, Thin said. The director of another fruit exporting company agreed with Thin, adding exporting fresh fruits by air has significantly raised the competitiveness of Vietnamese fruit.

His company increased shipments of rambutan,mangosteen and dragon fruit by air by 30 per cent in the first eight months of the year over 2009, he said.

Taiwan-based Eva Air Cargo said its two cargo flights per week on the HCM City-Taiwan route are always full, adding that it achieved an air cargo growth of more than 30 per cent this year over last year.

Vu Thanh Hai, general director of Tan Son Nhat Cargo Services Ltd.Co, said total cargo exported through his company was around 130-145 tonnes per day, of which more than 20 tonnes, including garments, footwear, flowers, fruits and ornamental fish, were exported to the EU market.

The value of shipments going through the Tan Son Nhat International Airport between June and August was worth more than US$1 billion, compared to $276 million in the same period last year, according to the airport's Customs office.

The amount of goods transported by air has increased strongly in recent years, with an annual growth of 10.6 per cent in the last five year period (2005-09), according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam.

In the first seven months of the year, international flights transported nearly 188,000 tonnes of cargo to and from Viet Nam, an increase of 43.8 per cent over the same period last year.

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