Seats sell out on Da Nang flights

Air tickets to the central city of Da Nang have recently become scarce as increasing numbers of people opt to enjoy the local fun and sunshine.

Online PR News – 12-July-2010 – – Tourane Hotel, which is located along the My Khe coast, said its 60 rooms had been fully occupied during the past month, with 90 per cent of its guests coming from Ha Noi.

The Vietnam Airlines representative office in the central region said the airline has been forced to add 180 seats every Thursday and Saturday on the Ha Noi-Da Nang route since the beginning of June, in addition to the regular 1,550 seats per day.

A similar number of seats were also added to Friday and Sunday flights on the HCM City-Da Nang route.

The office said the passenger increase was due to a 30-40 per cent rise in the number of tourists choosing to take their holidays here compared to the same period last year. The airline will continue to offer the supplementary seats until the end of August when the domestic tourism season ends.

The airline will consider adding even more seats if demand surpasses current capacity, especially for flights to and from Ha Noi.

Travel agencies said it was very hard to manage air tickets at this time.

"We have booked tickets for clients at VND2 million (US$108.1) each way and they end up refusing to buy them," said Dinh Van Loc, director of the Viet Da Tourism Co.

He said some small companies have faced significant difficulties because they are required to buy tickets from larger firms at a surcharge of about VND100,000 ($5.4) per ticket. Several groups have cancelled tours with his company due to high prices.

Trinh Hoai Nguyen, director of the business department of Saigontourist Co's Da Nang branch, said excessively high air fares were making tour travel companies less competitive.

He said his company might have to sell air tickets separately from the price of the tours on busy flight days. "If the situation becomes too difficult, we may have to change flight times or arrange trains for our clients."

The new Da Nang-Da Lat flight route, which launched on June 30, shows no available seats until next Thursday, according to the Vietnam Airlines office.

"As a major partner of Vietnam Airlines, we are given a priority in buying tickets; but it just means that we have the opportunity to buy seats on busy days, it doesn't mean that we can buy seats at favourable prices," said Nguyen.

He added that the lowest possible price of VND500,000 ($27) for a flight on this route was no longer available. The current low price is around VND1.2 million ($64.9).

Nguyen said since the route launched, tours to Da Lat have sold much better. "I believe a larger number of tourists will fly this route in the future," he said.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News