Vietnamese carriers incur increased costs amid Russia-Ukraine war
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A Boeing 787-9 aircraft of Vietnam Airlines in the U.S. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines
The Russia-Ukraine war and the resultant closures of Russian and European airspace have hit Vietnamese carriers, who have to make a detour.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said on Friday that the alternative routes add to operating costs and travel time.
Due to the escalation of the war, many European countries, the U.S., the U.K. and Canada have closed their airspaces to Russia which has had similar moves with these countries.
Therefore, flights from Vietnam to Europe could not transit in Russia and Vietnamese carriers were forced to change their routes to avoid Russian airspace by flying over China, Kazakhstan or North Africa to reach Europe.
Earlier, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways have operated long-haul flights to Europe transiting through Russian airspace.
The detour adds one to two hours to the flight time, leaving Vietnamese carriers to bear increased costs from $10,600 to 21,200 for each flight to Europe.
Vietnam Airlines is operating six weekly flights between Vietnam and Europe, incurring increased costs of $70,000 to 130,000 per week while Bamboo Airways operates three flights to Europe a week and the detour costs it $35,000-65,000 a week.
In addition, Vietnam Airlines has adjusted its routes to the U.S. to avoid Russian airspace, increasing the flight time by 20-30 minutes per flight.
The carrier is operating four weekly flights to the U.S., which is estimated to bear increased costs of about $20,000-40,000 per week.
The escalating war between Russia and Ukraine has pushed up fuel prices, adding to the burden on airlines, CAAV said.
On Friday, Vietnam Airlines suspended its regular flights between Hanoi and Moscow, saying it needs to "review procedures and regulations related to aircraft insurance and flight operations to Russia."
Russian forces launched its attack in Ukraine nearly a month ago and bombarded many parts of the country with artillery and cruise missiles.
Vietnam resumed international commercial flights after nearly two years of suspension in January and lifted all restrictions on international flights on Feb. 15.