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Vietnam’s aviation industry thrives after COVID-19 pandemic



While the international aviation industry has encountered many difficulties returning to pre-pandemic levels, the Vietnamese aviation industry has made significant efforts to overcome these challenges and become a positive example in the world.

With international demand for flights surging during the vacation season, several airports have experienced delays, cancelations, or missing baggage. 

While the aviation industry of many countries is struggling with such problems, that of Vietnam has been recognized as a ‘good example’ of managing to increase the number of flights to meet the high demand following the pandemic without major issues.

Difficulties with international travel

Instead of getting a direct flight from Finland to France as planned, Hoang Quyen and her family had an unpleasant experience because the airline changed the flight at the last minute.

Only when they got to the check-in counter at the airport were they informed that the flight would be delayed by three hours. They also had to take a flight with a stopover instead of a direct service as booked. 

So they took a flight from Helsinki-Vantaa Airport to Copenhagen in Denmark and from there another one to France.

The airline explained that they had informed their passengers about the problem by email about two hours before the departure time, and the reason was that the crew suddenly fell ill.

N.H.D., a resident of Binh Thanh District in Ho Chi Minh City, said that in the summer, when he was traveling to Europe with his family, he witnessed chaotic scenes at the airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Hundreds of passengers stood in long lines waiting for their turn. There was also a dense crowd at the airport entrance. “Many passengers waited in kilometer-long lines,” D. recalled.

Indeed, many passengers have complained about the chaos at some international airports, sharing videos and photos as evidence. 

It is easy to see images of passengers waiting in droves at the terminals or thousands of kilograms of luggage that could not be collected due to an overwhelming and serious shortage of employees in the aviation industry. 

These images were posted with the warning that it would be difficult to claim checked luggage when flying to Europe, so passengers should take carry-on baggage on such trips.

The airline industry lost about 2-3 million jobs during the COVID -19 pandemic, with ground handling and security services the hardest hit.

Travel demand has recovered so quickly that the international airline industry has not been able to adjust immediately. The industry has had difficulty recruiting enough staff in recent months.

A different picture of Vietnam’s airlines

In the first eight months of 2022, the 21 airports under the control of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam handled more than 66 million passengers. The daily passenger record was set on July 10, 2022. Many of Vietnam’s airports operate domestic terminals that exceed their capacity.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (ACV), the number of passengers on domestic flights has recovered so quickly that pre-pandemic levels have been exceeded. This rapid recovery puts a lot of pressure on domestic terminals, and some of the infrastructure is reaching its limit. 

At the moment, there is a pervasive shortage of staff in the aviation industry, including air traffic controllers, security officers, baggage handlers, and check-in personnel.

Despite this situation, it is impossible to hire more employees immediately. The hiring process can take 2-3 months.

With so many challenges, it would take a lot of effort for the aviation industry to maintain anything close to smooth operations, even as domestic flights accelerate and passengers flock to airports. 

In fact, Vietnam has been internationally appreciated for having a domestic market with the fastest development.

According to Nguyen Dinh Hung, general director of Saigon Ground Services JSC, said that airlines faced a big challenge during the summer. 

During peak periods, they handle 200-300 flights per day at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, compared to only 20-30 per day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to deploy staff from all over to help during the peak period, and fortunately we are able to handle the situation successfully,” said Hung. 

Dinh Viet Phuong, general manager of VietJet Air, praised the timely and decisive measures taken by the government and administrative authorities in reopening the tourism industry, which brought good results to the aviation industry in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Phuong, VietJet could resume its domestic flight routes and open new potential services thanks to more convenient entry procedures at airports. 

India is one of the countries where VietJet has opened new routes to.

The Vietnamese budget airline opened 17 routes to India from various cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc.

VietJet’s new markets make Vietnam a popular destination for tourists from South Asia.

According to Nguyen Quoc Phuong, deputy director of ACV, given the severe staff shortage and limited infrastructure in the aviation industry, it is understandable that there will be inconveniences or problems when passenger traffic is high.

“If you take a look at European airports,” Phuong said, “you can see that the Vietnamese aviation industry has become a positive example of maintaining safe flights and stable services despite a substantial number of passengers.”

To make the industry a leading economic force that can spur other industries, it is necessary for the authorities to provide more decisive support, according to aviation industry experts. 

The experts suggested that the aviation industry should no longer be regulated in the same way as during the pandemic. In addition, the national government should offer more financial packages to help the industry, such as providing a two-percent interest package during the pandemic. 

They also suggested that the VAT tax should be reduced by 3-5 percent, which can help the industry both support passengers and curb inflation. 

In addition, the authorities are expected to abolish the special consumption tax on oil or gas, allow the aviation industry to impose a surcharge on fuel, and expand the visa waiver program to improve competitiveness.

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Owners of condotels, officetels get title deeds



Buyers of condotels, officetels and resort villas can have ownership certificates from May 20 under a new decree guiding the implementation of the Land Law.

On April 3, 2023, the Government issued Decree No.10 on amending and supplementing several decrees guiding the implementation of the Land Law from May 20.

The ownership term of the condotel depends on the purpose of land use following current regulations but not exceeding 50 years of the ownership term for land allocated or leased by the State for commercial or service use.

Buyers may only own land and apartments during the remaining land use period, not for long-term use as residential land.

According to experts, the Government’s decree will remove legal bottlenecks for investors and buyers of condotels, officetels and resort villas.

Experts said that if legal problems in the condotel, officetels and resort villa market are resolved, it can restore nearly 239 frozen projects nationwide, with a total value of about 30 billion USD./.


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Vietnam invests over 316 million USD abroad in five months



Vietnam invested nearly 316.4 million USD abroad in the first five months of this year, equivalent to 93.5% of the figure recorded in the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Vietnam invests over 316 million USD abroad in five months hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi – Vietnam invested nearly 316.4 million USD abroad in the first five months of this year, equivalent to 93.5% of the figure recorded in the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Of the total, 142.7 million USD was poured into 47 new projects, or 48.6% of the figure in the same period in 2022 while 173.7 million was added to 16 underway ones, a year-on-year increase of 3.9 times.

Vietnamese investors abroad invested in 13 sectors, especially retail and wholesale, information and communications, finance, banking, agro-forestry-fisheries.

In the January-May period, Vietnamese investments landed in 20 countries and territories, led by Canada with one new and one expanded project worth over 150.2 million USD. It was followed by Singapore, Laos, and Cuba.

The agency said that as of May 20, Vietnam had operated 1,648 valid projects abroad with combined investment of nearly 22.1 billion USD, including 141 by State-owned enterprises worth 11.67 billion USD, accounting for 52.8% of the country’s total.

Vietnamese investment abroad is mostly in mining (31.5%) and agro-forestry-fisheries (15.6%).

Leading destinations for Vietnamese investors are Laos (24.4%), Cambodia (13.3%), and Venezuela (8.3%)./.


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Electricity imports from Laos, China account for just a small part: ministry



Electricity imports from Laos and China accounted for just a modest part of the total electricity demand of Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An.

Electricity imports from Laos, China account for just a small part: ministry hinh anh 1Workers of Vietnam Electricity check the transmission system. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi –
Electricity imports from Laos and China
accounted for just a modest part of the total electricity demand of Vietnam,
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An.

An made the statement in response to National Assembly deputies’ question
about why Vietnam had not connected domestic renewable energy projects with a
total capacity of 4,600 MW to the national power grid but increased imports
from Laos and China.

NA deputy Ta Thi Yen said at a meeting late last week that while the
negotiations of pricing to connect renewable energy projects to the national
power grid faced roadblocks, Vietnam was forced to increase the import from
Laos and China to make up for the shortage. This was a huge waste when hundreds
of solar and wind power energy projects could not generate power for
consumption while the economy was facing a severe shortage of electricity, she

In response, An said that Vietnam imported electricity not because of the
shortage. The country has been buying from China since 2005 via transmission
lines in Lao Cai and Ha Giang provinces and from Laos, mostly hydroelectricity,
following an intergovernmental cooperation agreement in 2019.

The electricity import from Laos was around 7 million kWh per day and 4 million
kWh from China, very modest compared to the daily consumption demand, estimated
at around 445-450 million kWh in the northern region.

An said that the purchase was under cooperation agreements with countries in
the Greater Mekong sub-region, which would enable the connection of the power
grid with other countries in the region. In addition, the electricity master
plan No 8 also set out the target of exporting renewable energy to neighbouring

Vietnam had 220 kV line linking with Laos and 110 kV with China. Under the
commitments with Laos, Vietnam would import at least 3,000 MW from this country
by 2025 and 5,000 by 2030.

An pointed out that the electricity import from Laos and China increased this
year because of a shortage of supply caused by extreme weather and drought in
the dry season.

The electricity import price was lower than some domestic sources, according to
the ministry.

For example, it was around 6.5 cent or 1,540 VND per kWh from
China and 6.9 cent from Laos. Statistics of Vietnam Electricity (EVN) showed
that the average electricity purchasing price was around 1,845-2,200 VND per
kWh in the first three months of this year, meaning that the prices from Laos
and China were lower than some domestic sources.

Bui Van Thinh, President of the Binh Dinh Wind Power Association, said that
power shortage was mainly in the northern region while renewable energy
projects were concentrated in the central and southern regions, creating
pressure on the North–South 500 kV transmission network.

Buying electricity from China and Laos is reasonable, he said.

Regarding the roadblocks to the connection of more than 4,600 MW of renewable
energy to the national power grid, An said that many projects had not met legal
procedures due to violations of regulations about planning, land and
construction investment.

He said that removing the roadblocks for renewable energy projects was being
hastened based on the harmonisation of all sides’ benefits.

EVN’s statistics showed that there were 52 wind and solar power projects with a
total capacity of 3,155 MW which had applied for negotiations. Of them, 42 with
a total capacity of nearly 2,259 MW completed pricing negotiations with EVN. About
33 projects with a total capacity of 1,581 MW had not applied for negotiations.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade approved temporary prices for
19 projects with a total capacity of 1,347 MW. As of May 26, five projects with
a total capacity of 303 MW were eligible for commercial operation, meaning that
the power system would have an additional supply source of more than 300 MW
from these plants in the next few days./.


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