Transport ministry considers new Hanoi-HCM City nonstop air route

VietNamNet Bridge – Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has instructed the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to create a new Hanoi-HCM City air route that would reduce the current flying time.

Thang asked CAAV to think of measures that could shorten the Hanoi-HCM City air route in order to help airlines reduce their flying time, save fuel and cut down expenses.

“We need to find out the best, shortest and most effective air routes. The current situation needs improvement,” Thang said.

CAAV’s Deputy Head Dinh Viet Thang on July 14 said CAAV has a team working on shortening and optimizing air routes. A new direct air route from Hanoi to Phu Quoc Island, flying through Laos and Cambodia, has been set up, which cuts down 20 minutes of flying time.

The solution of flying through Laos and Cambodia is more effective than the current Hanoi-Phu Quoc island domestic air route, even though airlines have to pay high transit fees.

However, Thang said the transit fees required by Laos and Cambodia are too high, which would make it less economical to fly from Hanoi to HCM City through Laos and Cambodia than the current route.

“We are planning to negotiate with Lao and Cambodian agencies on reducing the transit fees this August so we can design a nonstop Hanoi-HCM City route,” he said.

As such, Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has decided to resume the research on the Hanoi-HCM City nonstop air route put forward in 2012 by Dr. Tran Dinh Ba from the Vietnam Economics Science Association and Mai Trong Tuan, a former pilot.

According to Ba, the current Hanoi-HCM City air route can be shortened if a new air route with transit in Laos and Cambodia is set up.

Also according to Ba, airlines now waste 26 minutes of flying time to fly from Hanoi to HCM City with a Boeing 777 when following the current air route, or 25 percent of the production cost.

The figures are 28 percent for flights from Hanoi to Can Tho City and 38 percent for Hanoi-Phu Quoc island.

With the current unreasonable domestic air routes, airlines waste $300 million every year. These routes explain why airlines cannot make profits with domestic flights, but they can do so with international air routes.

Ba believes that the only choice for airlines to make profits is to cut down costs by finding more reasonable nonstop air routes that allow savings on time and fuel. Ba’s suggested plan was rejected by CAAV in 2012, which said the air route was unfeasible.

The agency denied Ba’s calculation that the current roundtrip route has a total length of 1,556 kilometers, saying that the actual figure is 1,274 kilometers only.

Some experts from the Ministry of National Defence warned that there would be many more problems to fix if flying through Laos and Cambodia, including flight safety control.


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