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Feb 10, 2023 / 16:45

Vietnam’s air traffic may fully recover by end 2023

The passenger traffic in Vietnam will reach approximately 80 million in 2023.

Vietnam’s air traffic is predicted to fully recover to 2019’s levels by the end of 2023, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

 Vietnam's aviation industry is expected to fully recover this year. Photo: Quang Hai/The Hanoi Times

The CAAV projected an increase of approximately 1% in passenger traffic and 14.8% in cargo compared to 2019, before the pandemic outbreak.

In terms of domestic air traffic, the number of passengers is expected to increase by 22% compared to 2019, reaching 45.5 million. Cargo volume would stand at 85% of 2019, reaching 230,000 tons.

Meanwhile, the volume of international cargo traffic would increase by 22.4% compared to 2019, reaching 1.23 million tons. The number of air passengers would be 83.5% in 2019, reaching 34 million.

The total aviation industry of Vietnam in 2023 will cater to approximately 80 million passengers and carry 1.44 million tons of cargo, a year-on-year increase of 45.4% in passengers and 15% in cargo, the CAAV said.

Last year, Vietnamese airport throughput was about 55 million passengers, 3.7 times more than in 2021, equivalent to 69.6% of 2019 levels. Meanwhile, cargo transport volume reached about 1.25 million tons, representing 95% of the previous year and equaling the volume of 2019.

According to the CAAV, the national aviation industry still has to address many limitations in airport infrastructure, instability of fuel prices, a shortage of high-quality human resources, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Air traffic from South Korea and Japan to Vietnam will not recover as quickly as expected due to fears of the return of Covid-19, economic difficulties, and travel cost cutting.

"The main reasons for travel will be doing business, visiting relatives, and studying abroad," said CAAV. In the short term, Vietnam-China air traffic is unlikely to regain 2019 levels. 

Vietnam Airlines plans to resume five more routes to China in March and April this year. Accordingly, the national flag carrier’s air route network to China will return to its pre-pandemic status in 2019, reaching nine destinations.

With the optimistic scenario that China will continue to ease entry formalities and demand will recover, the national flag carrier expected the number of passengers flying between the two countries in 2023 to reach around 80% of the 2019 level.

Local aviation experts commented that although domestic air traffic has recovered the fastest worldwide, the slow recovery of international routes will mean that the overall outlook for the Vietnamese aviation industry remains less competitive than that of other countries.

Bui Doan Ne, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Aviation Business Association, said local aviation authorities need to continue negotiating with new countries to soon boost passenger traffic.

A global aviation market forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that international passenger traffic volume in 2023 will be at 80% of 2019 levels and that the Asia-Pacific region would be the slowest to recover.