Vietnam bars new airlines from taking off

One of the five fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, according to IATA’s estimates, will not welcome new players any time soon, as the Vietnam Ministry pauses the consideration of new operators. 

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said on May 14, 2020, that until the end of the pandemic crisis, no new airlines will see the green light on permits to fly. On the roadmap now is to recover from the coronavirus effects and resume operations of the existing carriers, the Minister explained.

This means a timeout for two airlines to enter the already competitive market.

Viettravel Airlines was expecting its first planes to take off at the beginning of 2021. The charter airline, owned by Vietnamese tour operator Viettravel, was given the approval to operate international and domestic flights with Airbus and Boeing aircraft in early April 2020. 

Apart from the delay in entering the market, the carrier now has to take into account additional details while getting permission. The Minister of Transport asked the Civil Aviation Administration to provide instructions on how to complete the application for air travel license, including refocusing strategy with consideration of the COVID-19 effects.

Another airline waiting for operational authorization, Kite Air, was supposed to enter operations in the second quarter of 2020. The airline mostly eyed the domestic market and was planning to operate as a low-cost. 

Currently, there are six carriers operating in Vietnam: national carrier Vietnam Airlines, low-cost Jetstar Pacific Airlines (partially owned by Vietnam Airlines), Bamboo Airways, budget carrier Vietjet, Vietnam Air Services (VASCO), and a military-run company Vietstar Airlines.

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