The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has submitted a draft circular to the Ministry of Transport that requires aviation companies to provide compensation for passengers on flights delayed by more than four hours.

The current regulation requires compensation only for cancelled flights.

If the circular is approved, customers of domestic flights which are cancelled or delayed by more than four hours will receive 200,000 VND (9.5 USD) for a flight that is less than 500 km, 300,000 VND (14 USD) for a flight of 500 to 1,000 km, and 400,000 VND (19 USD) for a flight of more than 1,000 km.

However, the compensation rate for international flights will remain unchanged, at 25 USD for a delayed and cancelled flight of less than 1,000km, 50 USD for a flight of 1,000 to 2,500 km, 80 USD for a flight of 2,5000 to 5,000 km, and 150 USD for a flight of more than 5,000 km.

A member of the committee that drafted the proposed circular told that compensation for international flights was in US dollars, which have a small currency fluctuation, so the compensation rate was retained.

According to the circular, passengers who either did not receive compensation, or received compensation at less than the proposed levels may send a formal complaint by email to the concerned aviation companies within one year of the delayed or cancelled flight.

The aviation companies must either reply to the complaint or pay compensation at the proposed levels within seven days. Passengers may sue the company within two years of the delayed or cancelled flight.

Exactly 2,057 or 13.8 percent of the14,942 flights to and from Vietnam in August 2014 were delayed, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

Figures from the CAAV also showed that Jetstar Pacific topped the list of airlines with the highest rate of delayed fights at 25.1 percent, followed by VietJet Air , Vietnam Airlines and Vasco.

Vietnam Airlines had the most number of cancelled flights at 58, followed by VietJet Air with 18. Jetstar Pacific cancelled only one flight while Vasco had no cancellations.

The figures also showed that late arrivals made up 62.7 percent of delayed flights while technical malfunctions, poor service at airports and flight management problems made up 29.9 percent, and poor weather conditions and other reasons made up 7 percent.-VNA