Aviation’s recovery to drive other economic sectors

Thursday, 2020-05-14 12:22:06
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An estimated 80% of international arrivals to Vietnam come by air.
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NDO - With the coronavirus essentially contained in Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underlined the restoration of business activities as the top priority in reviving the economy. In this context, the aviation industry acts a launchpad for other sectors such as tourism, investment and trade.

Centre of value chain

As the national carrier, Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has operated nearly 20 special flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens from countries affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The carrier also transported nearly 26,000 tonnes of goods, including medical supplies, electronic components, automobile parts, garments, footwear and seafood, from late February to late April so as to lend a helping hand in the joint efforts to contain the outbreak and maintain economic connections.

According to the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA), the aviation sector urgently needs government support because of its central position in the value chain, which would help it to lead the post-outbreak recovery by connecting various sectors of the economy. The organisation estimates that each job in the aviation industry supports up to 24 other jobs in the value chain of the travel and tourism industry.

Prior to the outbreak, VNA cooperated with tourism authorities to promote the culture and people of Vietnam abroad, helping to draw more and more foreign visitors to the country. It is estimated that 80% of international arrivals to Vietnam come by air. During the 2008-2018 period, more than one third of international visitors to Vietnam used VNA services.

Aware of its role in recovering the health of the tourism industry, and the economy in general, VNA has worked with tourism authorities to establish a set of criteria for safe travel and researched post-outbreak scenarios to create product packages and prepare resources to meet consumer and business demand.

As soon as the government eased social distancing measures, VNA launched three promotional programmes and discussed with its partners about overcoming the crisis together to make a rapid and effective recovery.

No delay

VNA Deputy General Director Le Hong Ha said that with 70% of its passengers being tourists, the carrier has identified a tight-knit connection between aviation and tourism, especially during this difficult time. In the future, VNA will increase the capacity of its domestic routes to prepare for the recovery of the aviation market in Vietnam.

The IATA has forecast that passengers in the Vietnamese aviation market will plunge by up to 45%, equivalent to 32 million, while revenue will plummet by US$4.35 billion, with nearly one million related jobs affected by the outbreak.

Following the restoration of domestic routes, VNA is planning for the resumption of international flights when the pandemic is better curbed so as to create attractive products, boost tourism demand and revive the Vietnamese aviation industry more quickly.

As international passenger flights remain suspended, VNA is keeping itself abreast of the latest coronavirus developments in other countries and devising proactive recovery plans so that its resumption will not be delayed in comparison with its competitors.