International airline traffic remains static. In some countries, domestic travelers are getting back on track, slowly. Even so, most experts don’t expect any significant recovery until later this year. The optimists are pinning their hopes on the widespread rollout of a successful COVID-19 vaccine. Some say airlines need more than a vaccine to bounce back and that a combination of factors will come into play before the airline industry can recover from everything the pandemic has caused the world.
The great news is, despite everything, Vietnam aviation is among the fastest-growing markets according to the American plane maker Boeing.
“Southeast Asia will need 4,400 new airplanes valued at US$700 billion to support expanding demand for air travel over the next 20 years,” Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing told reporters on a conference call. Furthermore, Hulst considered Vietnam as the fastest growing market in terms of the growth of air travel in the region with the advantage of a strong domestic market and the recent control of the pandemic.
Once borders are opened, Southeast Asia will not be a replacement market because it still will have a tremendous amount of traffic, Boeing’s VP for CMO said. Adding, Southeast Asia was one of the top economic regions and came in at third behind India in the top spot and China is second place in expected GDP growth.
The world's largest aerospace company projects the region’s commercial airplane fleet will grow 5.3% annually over the next 20 years. In addition, demand for aftermarket commercial services – valued at US$790 billion – will help maintain the fleet over the same period, Vietnam News reported.
“Southeast Asia’s fundamental growth drivers remain robust. With an expanding middle-class and growth in private consumption, the region’s economy has grown by nearly 70 percent over the last decade, which increases the propensity to travel,” Hulst said. “In addition, governments in the region continue to recognize the travel and tourism sectors as important drivers of economic growth.”
Overall, according to the Asian Aviation report, Boeing forecasts regional demand for 760 new widebodies by 2039, adding while the long-haul market recovery is expected to take longer, Southeast Asia’s twin-aisle fleet is slated to grow by 55 percent to 780 widebodies by 2039.
Globally, Boeing projects the need for 43,110 new commercial airplanes and the demand for aftermarket services to be equivalent to US$9 trillion over the next two decades. World air cargo traffic is projected to grow 4 percent annually due to solid industrial production and world trade. Freighters will remain the backbone of the cargo industry with the need for 930 new and 1,500 converted freighters during the same span.
From one positive news to another, the national flag carrier will resume flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the northern province of Quang Ninh’s Van Don Airport on March 3. Vietnam Airlines suspended its commercial domestic flights to Quang Ninh when the local COVID-19 outbreak emerged on January 28.
It will be the first to restart flights to the Van Don airport.
According to the carrier, as the recent outbreak was handled quite well, the number of passengers traveling by air quickly recovered. During the recent Lunar New Year holiday, the aviation sector operated about 14,400 flights in total, transporting more than 1.7 million passengers.