Airfares poised to go up towards year-end
The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Industry insiders have said airlines will end up adjusting up their airfares next month after the Ministry of Finance approved higher service fees at airports.
The ministry has issued a decision approving service charges to rise by VND10,000 per passenger to VND70,000 per person on domestic flights at Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Danang, Cam Ranh, Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Cat Bi airports, and to VND60,000 per passenger at Phu Cat, Ca Mau, Buon Ma Thuot, Lien Khuong, Tuy Hoa and Dong Hoi airports.
As for international flights, the service charges remain unchanged at US$8-20 a passenger but US$25 will be collected at Noi Bai International Airport’s new terminal T2 and will be put into use next year, according to Vietnam News Agency.
In terms of charges for security screening, airports will collect fees on a per-guest rather than per-flight basis. Each passenger on domestic and international flights will pay VND10,000 and US$1.5 respectively.
Charges for goods screening will be revised up by 10% compared to the current VND140,000 a ton for domestic flights and US$15 a ton for international flights.
Passengers now have to pay VND110,000-120,000 for charges that are priced into air-tickets. These fees include some VND50,000 for ticket issue and 10% value-added tax.
Airlines said the service fee increases will affect passengers and be added to the air-tickets that they purchase. Later, carriers will transfer these fees to airports where they operate.
The airlines said if aviation service fees go up, air-tickets would increase accordingly and that they will not cover the rises for passengers. Therefore, industry insiders said the additional charges will push up air-tickets when the ministry’s 1992/QD-BTC takes effect next month.
Airlines questioned the feasibility of the service fee spikes and said more difficulties arising from the adjustments. They said they have managed to lower airfares to woo passengers, especially in the period from October to early December as it is considered a low travel season for air travelers in Vietnam.
However, aviation authorities said the service charge hikes are necessary and are made in line with price rises of other services. They also noted that security screening fees have remained unchanged since 2010.
A leader of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) said the agency has not received airlines’ requests for airfare adjustments. He noted that carriers have not sold air-tickets at the allowable ceilings, even for their busy air routes.