Monday, June 1, 2009

Airlines going discount route

The economic crisis has made the business performances of airlines lackluster, though it is now the peak season of the aviation industry. Airlines are trying to attract passengers by offering gifts and airfare discounts.

At Noi Bai airport

The economic recession has prompted the national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines to travel to Paris to advertise itself and attract tourists.

Vietnam Airlines has set up a representative office on one of the most famous and up-scale boulevards in Europe – the Champs-Elysees. It has also been advertising itself and beautiful destinations in Vietnam through billboards on the streets and in subway stations in the French capital.

Moreover, it has announced preferential airfares for travel firms and special airfare programmes for those eligible for the state’s preferential treatment policy.

The budget airline Jetstar Pacific has been following a flexible policy under which it cuts or offers more flights after considering numbers of passengers. On May 26, Jetstar Pacific announced the termination of Hanoi-Can Tho flights from June 1, while it will provide more flights on north-south air routes, increasing the number of Hanoi-Da Nang/HCM City flights.

The budget airfare for the Hanoi-HCM City flight now is 830,000. Jetstar Pacific has also announced a programme on giving gifts to children of under 15 years who take domestic flights on the occasion of International Children’s Day.

Jetstar Pacific’s Deputy General Director Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh said that the airline has contacted passengers who booked tickets for Hanoi-Can Tho flights after June 1, and has arranged seats for them on HCM City-Hanoi flights and given every passenger a rebate of 100,000 dong.

Foreign airlines have also been trying to do more things for passengers. Hong Kong Airlines offers $0 fares (passengers only have to pay security fee, fuel and airport tax) to passengers with Vietnamese nationality who have the same birthday as President Ho Chi Minh (May 19) and fly from Hanoi to Hong Kong.


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