The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has submitted a proposal to the country’s Ministry of Transport for permission to increase the total fleet size of Vietnamese airlines to 234 aircraft to meet domestic demand as well as to tap into opportunities in the recovering international market, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported.

In the document, the authority stressed that more aircraft are needed to satisfy demand during the upcoming Tết lunar new year holiday, set to take place this year around January 22.

It suggested that the number should not exceed the 234 mark recorded during the festival in the pre-pandemic month of January 2020, but it also proposed that airlines be allowed to increase their fleets to surpass that figure later this year, based on forecasts for growth in market demand, airport infrastructure, carriers’ operating and maintenance capacity, and the CAAV’s own safety supervision capacity.

The authority estimates the domestic market to reach 45.5 million passengers in 2023, so that the number of aircraft required for that market alone is 182. On the international side, Vietnamese airlines expect to carry 13.6 million passengers this year, implying that 57 aircraft are needed. Statistics show that each plane carries an average of 250,000 passengers per year, it explained.

Viet Nam’s passenger airlines - Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, VietJetAir, Bamboo Airways, and Vietravel Airlines - are expected to deploy around 230 aircraft in the first months of 2023, rising to 250 by the end of 2023, the report forecasts. This is up from 225 after the pandemic broke out in early 2020. On January 8, 2023, Vietnamese airlines resumed scheduled flights to the key international market of China.