Vietnamese airlines to resume pre-pandemic flight volumes hinh anh 1Vietnamese airlines have opened more domestic and international routes to restore flight levels to their pre-COVID-19 growth. (Photo: Vietnam+)

Hanoi (VNA) - Airlines in Vietnam have continued to open domestic and international routes under a plan to restore flight volumes to those seen previous to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aviation industry will recover quickly as the step-by-step reopening is implemented, COVID-19 measures are gradually reduced, and people's travel demand increases as a result.

The financial "health" of many airlines in the world continues to suffer due to the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, American Airlines reported a loss of 2 billion USD in 2021. In the fourth quarter alone, the airline lost 931 million USD. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines announced on January 13 that this airline lost 408 million USD in the last three months of 2021.

In Asia, Japan Airlines has forecast a net loss of 146 billion yen (equivalent to 1.3 billion USD) in the fiscal year as of March 2022. China's three major airlines also suffered huge losses in 2021. Air China reported a loss of 6.32 billion yuan in the fourth quarter of 2021, and a loss of 16.6 billion yuan for the whole year. China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines both reported losses of 1.9 billion USD.

Vietnam Airlines cannot escape the "whirlpool" of COVID-19 due to sustained losses in production and business.

Acknowledging that revenue from production and business activities faces many difficulties due to the COVID-19 epidemic, Vietnam Airlines leaders said that the airline still has to pay for aircraft rental, maintenance during social distancing and ensure minimum income for employees.

However, the corporation's loss of 13,337 billion VND for the whole year has decreased sharply compared to the 2021 plan reported to the General Meeting of Shareholders. At the meeting, leaders emphasised that the overall restructuring plan of enterprises in the period of 2021-2025 was a key solution to help Vietnam Airlines improve operational efficiency, strengthen financial capacity, and prepare development resources.

With the issuance of 800 million shares to existing shareholders to increase charter capital in 2021, Vietnam Airlines did not experience negative equity. This helped the airline supplement capital for production and business activities, and support liquidity.

Despite continuing to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry began to show signs of recovery from the end of 2021 thanks to a nationwide vaccination programme and strict preventive regulations.

According to a report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) published in early March 2022, the aviation market will soon fully recover. The expected total number of passengers will reach four billion by 2024, surpassing the period prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

IATA also said that in 2022, the domestic aviation market will recover by about 93 percent. In which, the plan to recover the domestic market in Vietnam is 96 percent, higher than the average forecast.

Vietnamese airlines to resume pre-pandemic flight volumes hinh anh 2The aviation market will fully recover with the expected total number of passengers reaching four billion by 2024. (Photo: Viet Hung/Vietnam+)

Seizing this "golden" opportunity, Vietnam Airlines has continuously opened more domestic and international routes. Specifically, from March 27, 2022, Vietnam Airlines operated 55 routes, 16 more routes than 2019. For international routes, the airline has completely restored regular flight operations to 15 markets.

Vietnam Airlines is expected to open three new routes to Singapore, two new routes to India from April 2022 as well as restore 80 percent of regular routes from July 2022. It will continue to open more routes to the Philippines in the near future.

However, the leader of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam acknowledged that the aviation industry is currently facing difficulties due to high gasoline prices, which also puts pressure on airlines to increase costs for air transportation./.