By Anh Ma July 15, 2021 | 07:45 GMT + 7

A Vietnam Airlines plane lands at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress / Quynh Tran.

National carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to train a cargo carrier as part of efforts to consolidate its business hard hit by the Covid-19 outbreaks.

The carrier has converted seven passenger planes into cargo carriers – five wide-body Airbus A350s and two narrow-body A321s, Vietnam Airlines Chairman Dang Ngoc Hoa said at his annual meeting of shareholders on Wednesday.

In June, its freight transport revenues, which normally represent 10% of the total, exceeded those of passenger transport.

According to Le Hong Ha, CEO of Vietnam Airlines, airlines have been considering setting up a freight carrier for years, but the timing has not been deemed right.

Over the past two years, and especially in recent months, freight transport has generated more revenue, so Vietnam Airlines is taking the plan more seriously, Ha said.

The chairman of the retail company Imex Pan Pacific Group, Johnathan Hanh Nguyen, has applied for permission to establish a cargo airline named IPP Air Cargo with an investment of $ 100 million, but the national authority of the Aviation has informed the Ministry of Transport that it will not recommend the creation of any new carrier until 2022, given the pandemic situation.

Low cost airline Vietjet has reconfigured 4 Airbus A321s for freight transport.

Meanwhile, foreign express delivery giants like DHL and UPS have increased flights and payloads to transport goods to Vietnam by air.

According to a report from the Ministry of Transport sent to the government, the proportion of freight transport in the total revenues of local airlines in one year in the midst of the Covid-19 epidemics has tripled compared to the pre-pandemic period.

In the first half of this year, Vietnam Airlines recorded losses of some VND 9,823 billion (nearly $ 427.1 million). It estimated consolidated losses at VND 14.526 billion this year, up nearly 30% from last year, and consolidated revenue at nearly VND 37.4 trillion, down 11.6%.


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