Vietravel Airlines project given go-ahead hinh anh 1At Phu Bai International Airport (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
- Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently signed Decision No. 457/QD-TTg approving the Vietravel Airlines project of Vietravel - one of the country’s largest tour operators.

With investment of 700 billion VND (30.4 million USD), the project aims to provide domestic and overseas air transport services and contribute to improving the capacity of Vietnam’s air transport and tourism as well as socio-economic development amid global integration. 

It will be put into operation at Phu Bai International Airport in the central province of Thua Thien Hue and have a lifespan of 50 years.

During its first year of operation, the carrier will use three Airbus, Boeing, or equivalent aircraft, which will then rise to eight by its fifth year.

Vietnam currently has five operational airlines: national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, budget carrier Jetstar Pacific (majority-owned by Vietnam Airlines), Vietjet Air, Vietnam Air Services (VASCO), and Bamboo Airways. Two others - Kite Air and Vietstar Air - are awaiting operational authorization.

Vietnamese airlines are among many around the world suffering heavy losses from the impact of COVID-19. The transport ministry has put the initial damage from suspending flights at some 30 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD).

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam recently issued two scenarios. The first is that if the disease is controlled before the end of April, the total number of passengers this year will reach 67 million, down 15 percent against 2019.

In the second, where the market worsens but the pandemic is controlled in the second quarter, passenger numbers will stand at 61.2 million, down 22.6 percent year-on-year./.