Vietnam’s aviation market faces unhealthy competition

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Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh speaks at a conference held on Thursday to review the performance of Vietnam’s aviation industry in the first six months of the year and discuss its priorities for the coming months. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan

Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh, who is also chairman of the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, made the statement at a conference held on Thursday to review the performance of Viet Nam’s aviation industry in the first six months of the year and discuss its priorities for the coming months.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan reported the industry operated safely in the first half of the year. No serious accidents or security incidents were reported.

Tuan said that after the crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights in March, the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam (CAAV) promptly banned the operation of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft in Vietnam’s airspace.

The administration is awaiting the conclusion of investigations into the crash and testing of the aircraft model before allowing it to resume operations in Vietnam.

At the conference, Deputy PM Binh said the implementation of emergency response plans at airports has made great progress.

In February, the CAAV obtained Aviation Safety Supervision Level 1 from the US Federal Aviation Administration, meaning the US aviation authorities and the international community recognise Vietnam's efforts to improve aviation safety. The change could facilitate the introduction of a direct flight route from Vietnam to the US.

However, Binh pointed out some shortcomings in the first six months of the year.

 

Some incidents still occurred such as thefts, passengers carrying weapons and dangerous items, the use of improper documents for flights, public disorder and assaults on aviation personnel.

He said the incidents were caused by legal loopholes, the failure to follow procedures and a shortage of airline staff. Lax management has also led to flight schedule violations and inadequate rest time for crew members between flights.

Many airlines have been hiring foreign pilots, making it more difficult to standardise the employment of pilots.

Binh said State-trained pilots were a national resource. He asked the CAAV to curb unhealthy competition, especially the poaching of pilots from other airlines.

He also instructed the administration to tighten control to ensure airlines would not increase flights and flying hours of pilots beyond the allowed limits.

Binh said the goal was a healthy aviation industry that properly and strategically developed its workforce and the number of aircraft.

He asked ministries and branches to co-ordinate to ensure safety and security in the remaining months of this year.

He also asked the Ministry of Defence to submit to the Government an amended decree on unmanned and ultralight aircraft to replace Decree No. 36/2008/ND-CP.

VNS