Vietnamese aviation growth boosted by private sector: experts

The rapid growth of Vietnam’s civil aviation industry in recent years has been primarily driven by private enterprises, according to experts at a workshop held on July 26.

The number of tourists to Vietnam by air is the highest among different means of transport.
The number of tourists to Vietnam by air is the highest among different means of transport.

However, they noted that there are still a lot of unresolved bottlenecks in airport infrastructure in areas which are planned to become major tourism centres.

The government should introduce appropriate policies to encourage the private sector to invest in airport infrastructure, said expert Nguyen Thien Tong, a former lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.

He added that 14% of the world’s airports are invested in by the private sector and these airports handle up to 41% of the total international passengers.

Le Anh Tuan, from the Development Strategy Institute, stated that the government attaches great importance to airport infrastructure development, with capital for this sector accounting for nearly 20% of the total spending on transport infrastructure.

According to Huynh The Du, from Fulbright University, budget carriers such as Vietjet and Bamboo Airways, which is to be launched soon, are making air travel cheaper and facilitating the growth of the tourism industry.

Aviation and tourism need each other to grow, said Nguyen Quy Phuong at the Vietnam National Tourism Administration, adding that the number of tourists travelling to Vietnam by plane is the highest figure among the different means of transport.

It was previously projected that foreign tourists travelling to Vietnam by air would reach 10.5 million by 2020 but the actual figure already hit 13 million in 2017 and is forecast to rise to 21 million by 2020.

Experts advised that it is necessary to mobilise capital from different sources to develop new airport infrastructure in order to deal with the bottlenecks and create opportunities for new airlines.