Effort needed to reduce flight delays, cancellations

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VIETNAM, July 15 – As domestic aviation recovers, it is important to make an effort to reduce the rate of delays and cancellations. — Photo VNA/VNS

HÀ NỘI — The Civil Aviation Authority of Việt Nam on Wednesday asked national airlines to make an effort to reduce the rate of flight delays and cancellations.

Đinh Việt Thắng, director of the civil aviation authority, said the domestic aviation market was recovering at a pace that exceeded all expectations, citing statistics that domestic visitors passing through airports in June had increased by 38% compared to the same period in 2019 before the outbreak of COVID. .

However, the number of delayed and canceled flights has increased significantly, especially at Nội Bài and Tân Sơn Nhất international airports, as aviation infrastructure remains underdeveloped, he said.

“We can’t wait for the infrastructure system to improve to reduce the rate of delays and cancellations,” Thắng said.

He pointed out that Nội Bài Terminal T3 should be operational no earlier than July 2024 and Long Thành Airport in the second or third quarter of 2025, while Tân Sơn Nhất Airport would not be upgraded until the commissioning of Long Thành.

“What’s important is finding new ways to solve problems, including applying technology to reduce the number of delays and cancellations and ensure travel demand,” Thắng said.

Stating that there was a lot of work to be done, Thắng said it was important to have the determination to improve the situation, adding that if each stage was shortened and the operating capacity improved, the airport would have better traffic, which would mean fewer delays and cancellations.

After inspecting Tân Sơn Nhất Airport, Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Authority Hồ Minh Tấn said flight delays at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport were quite significant in June. There are several reasons for delays and cancellations.

In addition to the overloaded infrastructures or the bad weather, the arrangement of the planes in the parking lots was not reasonable, taking into account the time of departure of the planes.

According to Nguyễn Quý Đôn, deputy director of the Southern Flight Management Corporation, pilots must strictly adhere to the time they are allowed to occupy the runway. Every second saved from the time of runway occupancy means a lot to flight operations.

Sharing the same view, Bùi Thanh Hà of Việt Nam Flight Management Corporation said that during a recent investigation at Tân Sơn Nhất airport, when Singapore’s B777-300 plane landed, he did not took the pilot only 60 seconds to leave the runway while the Vietnamese pilot took almost 70 seconds.

Vietnam Airlines deputy general manager Trịnh Hồng Quang said no carrier wants its flights delayed or canceled. However, the market was growing too fast beyond all expectations and carriers could not keep up.

Quang said the carrier will cooperate with relevant management agencies to improve services and reduce delay and cancellation rates.

According to Thắng, when the number of passengers on the plane increased, the infrastructure was limited and congestion and flight delays were unavoidable.

It would be difficult for passengers to accept that the flight, which took only 45 minutes from departure to arrival, had been delayed by several hours.

If there is no improvement, the number of flights must be reduced, Thắng said, adding that even the UK had to cancel hundreds of thousands of flights recently.

Thắng asked Việt Nam Flight Management Corporation and Airports Corporation of Việt Nam to coordinate to discuss parking operation rules and to be flexible with flight schedules.

It is also necessary to regulate the occupancy time of the runways of specific airports, especially Nội Bài and Tân Sơn Nhất airports, which were overcrowded, he said.

More than 5,600 domestic airline flights were delayed in June, which represents more than 18% of the total number of flights and almost 16% more than the same period of 2021 and 9.4% more than ‘in May.

Sixty-five flights were canceled last month, or 0.2% of the total number of flights.

The most common reason for the delay was the late return of an aircraft.

According to the International Air Transport Association, Việt Nam is among the countries whose domestic aviation market is recovering the fastest. —VNS

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