Loss-suffering Pacific Airlines sees no need to dissolve and instead is boosting its services, according to the general director. “All our activities are taking place as usual,” Luong Hoai Nam said, against a possibility suggested by the government to disband the airline in the face of mounting losses.
Pacific Airlines has added two weekly flights, using Airbus A320 and Airbus A321, between Hanoi and HCM City to its existing six until after the Lunar New Year holidays, or Tet, which wrap up in mid-February. The airline also plans to use two more Airbus planes next year, Nam said.
Pacific Airlines, in which flag carrier Vietnam Airlines holds a majority stake, is offering discounts for soldiers, war invalids and the families of revolution fighters.
Adding to the airline’s appeal, the Ministry of Finance has just ruled that state officials travelling on business will be reimbursed for Pacific Airlines fares, as they are for Vietnam Airlines tickets. “This is good news for us because Vietnam Airlines’ customers will fly with us,” Nam said.
Nam, former executive of Vietnam Airlines, recently was appointed Pacific Airlines general director.
Despite these upbeat messages, heavy losses hover over Pacific Airlines, which is trying to cut costs, increase income and improve the quality of its services to get out of the red. Nam said the company also needs government support to deal with the financial difficulties.
Pacific Airlines, which has operated for 13 years, has racked up losses of more than 200 billion dong (US$12.7 million), or five times its capital. Deputy prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung, in an instruction issued last week by the government Office, urged Vietnam Airlines to consider a restructuring scheme for Pacific Airlines, either by issuing more shares to outsiders or disbanding the joint stock air carrier.
Vietnam Aviation Service Co (Vasco) yesterday added one more flight between HCM City and Ca Mau, offering 10 flights per week now. Vasco plans to increase its weekly flights to 13 on January 10. Then travellers will be able to choose between two flights every day, except for Thursday, when only one plane will take off.
The company yesterday also raised the HCM City-Ca Mau fare from 475,000 to 525,000 dong including airport tax. The return fare is some 10,000 dong cheaper.
In addition, Vasco cut its weekly flights between HCM City and Con Dao Island from seven to six.