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13.4% of All Vietnamese Flights Were Delayed Last Year: CAAV

Vietnamese carriers reported 39,632 delays in 2018 which represents 13.4% of all operated flights.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) recently reported that delays experienced by the country's four domestic carriers — Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Jetstar Pacific and the Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) — increased 1% in 2018.

Budget provider VietJet was the worst offender by volume with 18,746 of their 118,923 flights, or 15.8%, failing to take off as scheduled. Jetstar's ratio of delays was the highest at 18.5% equivalent to 6,636 flights. The national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, reported that 10.8% of their 128,236 flights didn't leave as scheduled while VASCO's delay rate was only 3.4%, or 460 out of its 13,524  flights.

CAAV cited planes returning late as the primary cause of delays and cancellations as well as inadequate airport infrastructure and operations, flight management, weather and technical issues. 

While fliers have come to expect delays, many are unsatisfied with the airline's responses. Some people have expressed desires to be compensated for long waits and cancellations, even if informed by the airlines ahead of time. As of 2016, airlines are required to pay up to VND400,000 (US$18) a passenger for delays of domestic flights and US$150 for international flights.

In 2017, the Ministry of Transport ruled that airlines must provide accommodation for passengers for flights delayed by more than six hours. Critics contend that these punishments are not nearly high enough to persuade airlines to mend their tardy ways.

The plummeting plane punctuality coincides with a booming aviation sector. Vietnam's market for air travel is the third-fastest growing in Asia-Pacific. In 2018 the four domestic carriers operated 296,516 more flights than the previous year, a 9% increase.

Airports are struggling to keep up with the rising demand. Saigon's Tan Son Nhat is especially overwhelmed, operating at 128% capacity. A recently approved expansion and the aimed for 2025 opening of Long Thanh Airport will hopefully ease the congestion and reduce delays.

[Photo via Zing]

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