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Local airlines knock off fares

Vietnam Airlines has announced a major fare promotion campaign for its domestic and international services during periods of low air travel demand while low-cost carrier VietJetAir is selling cheap tickets for all its domestic routes.

Vietnam Airlines said on Monday that individual passengers could buy single fares from VND777,000 from March 8 to 19 for its domestic flights between HCMC and Hanoi and from these cities to Danang and Hue from April 1 to May 31 and from September 5 to October 31 except the busy routes on public holidays.

The national flagship carrier will knock off up to 50% of more than 100,000 seats, or 17% of the total seats the airline offers during the period.

The airline will also offer discounts of up to 50% on over 80,000 tickets for its international flights from Vietnam to 26 destinations in Asia, Europe and Australia. These return fares range from US$49 to US$499 depending on destinations. The fares for both domestic and international flights are exclusive of airport tax and surcharges.

Vietnam Airlines said these discount fares were part of its annual major promotion programs and its policies to provide the market with different types of fares and encourage passengers to make bookings long before their departure.

To attract passengers, the private airline VietJetAir started on Monday to sell one-way fares from VND299,000 (some US$14.5) for its current HCMC-Hanoi flights and future services.

VietJetAir said passengers could book such cheap fares until April 4 for its domestic flights from April 1 until December 31 except those flights in busy periods from April 27 to May 2, August 31 to September 3 and December 22 to 25.

VietJetAir now operates three daily flights between HCMC and Hanoi and will have eight daily flights on this route from April 27. The low-cost airline will fly between HCMC and Danang on April 27 as well as Hanoi and Nha Trang from May 19.

* Thick fog around Noi Bai International Airport on Monday morning forced Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, VietJetAir and Air Mekong to postpone take-offs or change scheduled landings of more than 20 flights at the airport in Hanoi.

Vietnam Airlines accounted for a majority of the affected flights, followed by Jetstar Pacific, Air Mekong and VietJetAir.

Jetstar Pacific, the country’s second biggest carrier, told the Daily that it had to divert two flights scheduled from HCMC to Hanoi for landings in Vinh and Danang on Monday morning, and these two flights only left these central cities for Noi Bai when weather conditions there improved.

The private carrier Air Mekong’s flight leaving HCMC for Hanoi on Monday morning had to land at Vinh Airport and waited there for nearly two hours before the plane took off and then touched on the runway of Noi Bai Airport as scheduled.

VietJetAir told the Daily that the nation’s second low-cost carrier of Vietnam had to inform its passengers of departure delay of the flight planned to leave HCMC at 6:15 a.m. on Monday until 8:45 a.m.

Airline experts estimated it took airlines extra fuel and operation fees of up to VND100 million (less than US$5,000) or more for each of the flights diverted to a third airport and then taking off and landing at scheduled airports.

SGT

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