Fitch Ratings has forecast that average domestic revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) – a measure of traffic of Vietnamese airlines of around 55% of the baseline level in 2020 and 90% in 2021. Singapore Airlines, on the other hand, could witness the sharpest 2020 RPK fall, at 70%, due to its complete dependence on international routes, with 2021’s RPKs staying at around 50% below 2019 levels.
Indonesia and the Philippines, where further COVID-19 spread remains a high risk, to see average RPK levels at 35% of the baseline in 2020 and 60% in 2021. Airlines in Thailand and Malaysia are also likely to report similar levels, as they would be affected by weak international traffic volume despite the countries’ success in controlling the pandemic.
“Our forecasts are based on the assumption that a vaccine or treatment will not become available at scale in 2021, but that progress is made in controlling the pandemic. Airline passenger volume could improve faster than we forecast if an effective vaccine is distributed sooner than we believe or if there is more success in containing the pandemic,” the credit ratings agency said.
In Vietnam, since late September, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has restored the domestic market after the second wave of the pandemic was put under stricter control. Currently, Vietnam Airlines operates 40 domestic routes with an average of nearly 200 flights per day.
It has also re-operated its route to Japan and is poised to resume routes to the Republic of Korea (RoK), China, Taiwan (China), Laos, and Cambodia in the time ahead.
Meanwhile Vietjet Air has also recently restored a round-trip route to the RoK Korea after a half year hiatus. Currently, the airline has completely restored its 40 domestic routes with 160 flights per day.
Similarly, Bamboo Airways is operating nearly 40 routes throughout the nation and is expected to increase the figure in the near future. It has also restored routes to Taiwan (China) and the RoK in September and plans to open new routes to Japan, Singapore, and Australia in the fourth quarter, and to Germany and the UK in the first quarter of next year.
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