Air travel during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday will become more expensive as of October 15, when domestic airlines go ahead with a planned price hike.

A representative of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam confirmed to the newspaper Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) that it had received the proposal of airfare increases from carriers Vietnam Airlines, Air Mekong and VietJet Air.

The highest jump from Vietnam Airlines is 50,000 VND (2.40 USD) per trip, while its Hanoi – HCM City one-way ticket will rise by 20,000 VND (0.90 USD) to 2.67 million VND (128 USD), not including 10 percent VAT (value-added tax) and the 44,000 VND (2.11 USD) airport fee.

Previously, Jetstar Pacific also increased its prices by about 60,000 VND (2.87 USD) per one-way ticket.

Both Air Mekong and VietjetAir have also sent proposals to hike their airfares by 3-4 percent.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Finance's Department of Price Management, said the price hike of 3-4 percent remains below the regulated ceiling price and consequently the department did not reject their proposals.

Thus, airlines were allowed to automatically apply new prices after five days of submitting the proposal under the current regulation, Tuan said.

According to Decision No 2967/QD-BTC issued in December 2011 by the Ministry of Finance, airfares are allowed to increase by a maximum of 20 percent and the highest price for the Hanoi – HCM City route is capped at 3.4 million VND (163 USD) per one way ticket (excluding taxes and charges) and 4 million VND (191 USD) per one-way ticket on the longest route for Hanoi – Phu Quoc.

However, in order to protect passengers, the Civil Aviation Administration asked airlines not to increase fairs in excess of 2.72 million VND (130 USD) and 3.43 million VND (164 USD) per one-way ticket applied to the aforementioned routes.

Despite that, the administration admitted the airlines have the right to rise prices up to the ceiling level. If so, the price of return tickets for a Hanoi – HCM City flight with taxes will cost 7.6 million VND (364 USD) and Hanoi – Phu Quoc tickets will reach more than 8.8 million VND (421 USD).

Last year, ticket prices increased twice: firstly in April and then before Tet holiday with an increase of about 10 percent each time.-VNA