MIAMI – On Tuesday, Vietnam Airlines (VN) announced financial losses that total ₫10.75tn (USUS$463.7mil) in the first nine months of 2020. The Vietnamese flag-carrier suspended all flights for nearly a month between March and April during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnam Airlines group, which includes subsidiaries Pacific Airlines (BL) and VASCO (0V) maintained a majority 51.7% market share of passenger transport during this period, according to VN CFO Tran Tranh.

Despite the acquisition of Jetstar Pacific, renamed Pacific Airlines (BL), VN has struggled during the ‘Coronavirus era, even requesting a major loan from the Vietnamese government in early June.

VN Boeing 787-10. PHOTO: Luca Flores/Airways

Looking Ahead

Despite a month-long halt in operations, the Skyteam alliance member managed to transport 11.9 million passengers and 146,000 tons of cargo between January and September. Despite their efforts, the airline will still struggle to meet even half of its budgeted revenue for FY2020.

Still, VN has shown signs of recovery, adding 22 additional domestic routes in mid-summer. They also partnered with tourism entities across the country to reboot travel to Vietnam as part of the National Tourism Stimulus Program.

Moving forward, VN will look to create innovative and experiential travel as they combat not only COVID-19, but also the boom in low-cost airlines. This comes with Vietnam-based VietJet Air (VJ) continued push for commercial travel market share, as passengers looking to travel on cheaper fares.

Featured Image: Up-close with a VN Airbus A350-900. VN can look to long-haul routes to restart cashflow. PHOTO: Kochan Kleps/Airways