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Aviation association seeks state support for US$1.16-billion credit package
Ngoc Mai 10:31, 2021/03/07
The association urged the government to gradually open borders for the resumption of international flights to markets that have put the pandemic under control, including the Europe, Australia, India, China, South Korea and Japan.

Vietnam Aviation Business Association (VABA) has proposed the government to provide a credit aid package worth VND25-27 trillion (US$1.07-1.16 billion) to support the aviation industry that has been under serious impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 The aviation industry is among the hardest-hit sectors by the pandemic. Photo: Pham Hung

This is the third time that VABA has sought such support from the state since the first Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020.

According to VABA, while the credit package would help enterprises improve their financial capabilities, government agencies should continue considering extending deadline of debt payment for enterprises in the aviation industry until the end of 2024.

VABA also referred to suggestion from local enterprises for keeping existing supporting programs of reducing take-off, landing charges and navigation services fees, as well as policies for workers affected by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the association urged the government to gradually open borders for resumption of international flights to major markets that have put the pandemic under control, including the Europe, Australia, India, China, South Korea and Japan.

“The Ministry of Transport should carry out study to assess the impacts of the pandemic on the development of the aviation industry in both short- and long-term, which would serve as a basis to reform the state administration in this field accordingly,” stated VABA.

VABA asked competent authorities to keep up with the efforts of reforming administrative procedures and allow airlines to be flexible in operation, including launching new services and domestic tourism stimulus program, and promoting tourism activities.

The national aviation industry was among the hardest-hit sectors by the pandemic last year, with the passengers volume suffering a plunge of 43% year-on-year to 66 million and 15% in cargo handling to 1.3 million tons.

In the past year, the government has been providing a series of support for the aviation industry, including waiving fees related to outstanding government-guaranteed loans for local airlines, and reduce 50% of take-off and landing charges, as well as air navigation service fees for domestic flights.

Airlines are also given permission to offer price of zero for air transportation services not included in the list of services under state management.

Last November, the National Assembly (NA) approved the government’s proposal to help ease Vietnam Airlines’ financial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under its resolution, the NA agreed to allow the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, to provide refinancing loans worth VND12 trillion (US$518.57 million) for Vietnam Airlines to maintain its operation.

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