Vietnamese national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is set to get a much-needed cash injection to the tune of $293 million. As airlines worldwide continue to face financial difficulties brought on by the coronavirus, Vietnam Airlines is getting a helping hand from the government.
According to news wire service Reuters, Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corp (SCIC) is prepared to offer the cash-strapped airline aid. Vietnam Airlines and the country as a whole have been hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic and have seen a massive decline in travel and tourism.
Vietnam Airlines lost $453 million
When speaking to Reuters by telephone today, SCIC’s deputy chief executive Dinh Viet Tung declined to go into great detail about the money but did say the following:
“The investment is pending a government decision.”
When reporting the government aid news, Vietnamese state television broadcaster VTV cited Tung as saying that SCIC could invest as much as 6.8 trillion dong ($293.44 million) to buy new shares. Last month the SkyTeam alliance member reported a net loss of $453 million in the first nine months of this year, which it put down to the coronavirus.
About Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines was founded in 1956 and later established as a state-owned enterprise in April 1989. Today, Vietnam Airlines is seen as a crucial player in Vietnam’s economic development, with the SCIC owning a controlling 86% share. This, in itself, is a good enough reason to inject more cash and continue with plans to operate flights to the United States.
Before the coronavirus grounded flights, Vietnam Airlines had received a coveted Category 1 rating from the FAA. They had plans to offer regularly scheduled flights to the USA aboard their new Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The United States is home to around 1.3 million Vietnamese migrants, many of whom live in California, making flights from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) to SFO and LAX a viable prospect.
According to the aviation website, Planespotters.net Vietnam Airlines has 102 aircraft with an average age of 6.3 years. The aircraft in Vietnam Airlines fleet includes the following:
- 1 x ATR 42/72
- 2 x Airbus A320neo
- 50 x Airbus A321-200
- 20 x Airbus A321neo
- 14 x Airbus A350-900
- 11 x Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- 4 x Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner
Other Vietnam Airlines news
With COVID-19 still keeping borders closed and reducing the number of people flying, Vietnam Airways is flying to all but a handful of international destinations. Domestically the airline has reintroduced flights despite passenger numbers being down due to a lack of tourists. COVID-19 has not been as severe in Vietnam as other counties, with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirming a total of 1,216 cases as of November 10. Currently, Vietnam is closed to tourists but open for business travelers, diplomats, and various experts, providing they have the correct paperwork.
A year ago, when Vietnam Airlines received its Category 1 rating from the FAA, things were all pointing to a bright future. Due to the medical emergency Vietnam Airlines and just about every national carrier now needs government support to survive.
Have you ever flown on Vietnam Airlines, and if so, what did you think of them? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.