Vietnam to Free up Aviation Sector: Report

Vietnam plans to open up its state-controlled aviation sector to outside investors, including foreigners, allowing them to set up airlines and build more airports, local media quoted a government minister as saying.

"Our policy is to open wide the door to all economic sectors, including foreigners, to develop airports, airlines and all other aviation-related services," Transport Minister Dao Dinh Binh was quoted as saying in a report published on Friday.

However Binh, in an interview published on the Planning and Investment Ministry's Web site at, said any aviation investment would still be subject to approval and gave no timeframe.

At present, state-owned Vietnam Airlines is the dominant carrier with a 85 percent share of the domestic market, which has seen demand growing at around 25 percent annually.

The unlisted carrier's only domestic rival is Pacific Airlines, which is being bought out by Singapore's Temasec Holdings Pte.Ltd .

Vietnam Airlines has expanded rapidly over the past few years to meet fast-growing demand for domestic as well as international air travel.

It reported a 30 percent annual growth in revenues during the first half of this year to VND9.96 trillion (US$629 million).

The carrier operates a modern fleet of 38 planes, including 8 Boeing 777-200ERs, 4 Beoing 767-300s, 6 Airbus A321s, 10 Airbus 320s, nine ATR-72s and two Fokker-70s. It has said it will expand the fleet to 75 aircraft by 2010.

The government has also said the aviation sector needs billions of dollars to upgrade key airports which have become increasingly congested.

(Source: Reuters)
Story from Thanh Nien News
Published: 26 August, 2005, 17:50:05 (GMT+7)
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