Only businessmen can afford tickets for Tet flights

The national air carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced it plans to launch tens of thousands air tickets into the market. However, booking agents say they still have not seen the tickets.

Earlier this month Vietnam Airlines announced that it will provide 11,000 more tickets for Tet flights in the first stage. However, booking agents have affirmed that no air route has seen additional flights.

Nhung, the owner of a booking agent in Tan Binh District in HCM City, said that she has been “hunting” for air tickets since the beginning of the month, but unsuccessfully.

The flights on HCM City – Hanoi route which will take off after January 24, 2011 (or December 21 of the Lunar Year) all have run out of economy tickets, and only business class tickets are left. to book business class tickets, one has to pay 3,350,000 dong . As for the Hanoi – HCM City route, to book the flights after February 7, 2011 ( the fifth day of the new Lunar Year), one will also have to become businessmen.

Nhung said that after Vietnam Airlines announced that it will launch more flights on Tet holiday, people call the booking agent regularly . A lot of passengers accept to pay 400,000-500,000 dong more . However, Nhung said the only thing she can do now is to book standby tickets. But now even standby tickets are not accepted on some air routes.

“I have heard that by the end of this year, Vietnam Airlines will announce another plan to launch more air tickets for Tet flights in the second stage. However, I still cannot understand why I cannot purchase any tickets in the first stage,” Nhung complained.

Nhung said that at the same time in 2009, economy class tickets also ran out. However, in the days just before Tet (from December 27 Lunar Year), tickets unexpectedly appeared on the market in big quantity. Nhung thinks that the scenario would repeat this year, and she has advised passengers to wait . However, as this is not certain, no passenger wants to wait, and they want immediate bookings.

As for HCM City - Da Nang route, passengers who want to fly from January 27, 2011 to February 2, 2011 (24-30 December of Lunar Year) now also only have business class tickets to buy. Of course, business tickets are much more expensive than economy tickets. In order to have a business ticket, one will have to pay 2,100,000 dong, while economy ticket.only costs 600,000 dong

Similarly, on the reverse route, if passengers want to fly on February 6-13 with Vietnam Airlines, they also have to buy business class tickets. Vietnam Airlines said it would offer more seats, about 3200 seats per day per route, an increase of 28 percent over the previous Tet and an increase of 44 percent in comparison with normal days. On peak days, the number of seats to be provided may reach 4000 seats per day, or double that of normal days.

However, to date, the demand has still been far exceeding the supply.

Meanwhile, talking with Sai gon Tiep Thi on November 25, a representative from Vietnam Airlines said that the air tickets on additional flights have been selling since the beginning of the month. However, even the additional tickets cannot meet the demand, because of the overly high number of passengers who have booked standby tickets.

However, many booking agents said that they do not know that tickets have been sold. some agents even think the sale of additional tickets will only begin at the end of the month.

The budget airline Jetstar Pacific has also reportedly sold all the tickets for the flights from December 22 of Lunar Year to Tet. As for Air Mekong, all the economy class tickets for HCM City – Hanoi flights on the days just before Tet have also been sold. However, the airline still has a lot of Full Deluxe class tickets to offer which are priced at 2,845,000 dong .

Truong Thanh Vu, Commercial and Service Director of Air Mekong, said that the airline will increase the transport capacity by 20 percent on Tet, raising the total number of seats to 3200 per day.

P. V


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