HCMC – Dang Ngoc Hoa, chairman of Vietnam Airlines, said the national flag carrier has had difficulty securing airport slots in certain foreign countries.
Speaking at a conference organized by the Ministry of Transport yesterday, Hoa said that after a long hiatus caused by the pandemic, Vietnam Airlines lost some airport slots in London and India due to the increased post-pandemic protection of local air services.
The Vietnam Airlines management has held negotiations with Chinese partners to secure slots at various airports, but these efforts have proven unsuccessful.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines has fully resumed domestic and international services. It operates 54 international routes to 28 destinations across 18 countries, and 45 domestic routes to 21 destinations within Vietnam.
However, Hoa said that in the first half of this year, international passenger arrivals reached just 60% of the pre-pandemic levels, with Chinese passenger arrivals accounting for a mere 9% of the pre-pandemic levels.
Hoa proposed that the Ministry of Transport support local carriers in negotiating for overseas slots, monitor aircraft numbers to prevent resource wastage, and address potential issues of airport congestion.
In response, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Thang requested the Foreign Affairs Department under the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to provide support to Vietnam Airlines on this matter, based on principles of reciprocity in allocating international airport slots. If necessary, the ministry is prepared to send a delegation to directly negotiate with foreign partners.