Airline service fees reduced by half for next six months hinh anh 1Planes of some Vietnamese airlines (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) — Fees for takeoff and landing and aircraft operating services for domestic flights will continue to be cut by 50 percent for the next six months to support airlines affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Transport Ministry circular.

The Minister of Transport has approved Circular 19, which regulates the fees of takeoff and landing and aircraft operating services for domestic flights, including specialised aviation services, at airports across Vietnam, for the next six months, from October through March.

The fees for airline service fees such as aircraft takeoff and landing service and other flight operation services have already been reduced by 50 percent since the beginning of March, under a Government resolution on supporting enterprises affected by the pandemic.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) had reduced airline service fees from March through August to support airlines suffering from the impact of the outbreak. 

ACV reduced fees for a range of airline services at airports, including service fees for aircraft navigation (cut by 50 percent); and pipe ladder services, carousel rentals, automatic baggage handling, check-in counters and ground services (by 10 percent).

In addition, ACV, which operates more than 20 airports across the country, waived office rental fees for airlines that have stopped flying, and reduced fees by 30 percent for airlines that are still operating flights. ACV has also waived fees for some specialised aviation services. 

Earlier this year when the pandemic broke out, the Ministry of Transport asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to consult with the Prime Minister about the proposed reduction. 

The Ministry of Transport also asked the Government to assign the Ministry of Finance to oversee exemptions of import tax and environmental protection tax on aircraft fuel from March to August.

The pandemic has severely affected revenues of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and ACV.

Vietnam Airlines reported 6 trillion VND (257.1 million USD) in second-quarter revenue, down nearly 70 percent from the previous quarter, as a result of a month-long social distancing order in April and the ongoing suspension of international flights.

The national flag carrier suffered quarterly losses of 4.03 trillion VND, raising the total loss in the first half of the year to more than 6.64 trillion VND. In mid-July, it estimated that losses would reach 13 trillion VND this year.

Meanwhile, ACV recorded post-tax losses of over 365 billion VND in the second quarter as its revenues plunged 76.6 percent from the same period last year to over 1.04 trillion VND. 

The airport operator projected that the number of air passengers would fall by 41 percent year-on-year to 69.2 million this year, while the volume of cargo going through 21 airports across the country would fall by 13 percent to 1.34 million tonnes./.