Vietjet has reported a surge of 23 percent in cargo volume transported between April and August this year compared to the pre-pandemic first quarter. The airline’s freight volume increased from 16,133 tonnes between January and March 2020 to 19,872 tonnes in the following five months. Growth was disproportionately driven by the domestic market with cargo transported within Vietnam seeing a rise of 54 percent over the first quarter. Revenue from air cargo increased by 21 percent in the April-August period compared to the first three months with freight revenue in the domestic market jumping by nearly 65 percent, the airline said.
Vietjet Air Cargo Director Mai Trung Thanh said that the airline before the pandemic used to fill cargo in the belly of the passenger aircraft, which amounted to an average of between one and three tonnes per flight. The deployment of cargo-only aircraft has boosted the freight volume each flight by at least six times, which helped bring higher revenue for the carrier during this time. “Converting to air cargo has managed to keep the airline afloat, which means a lot to the staff, encouraging them to come up with new ideas during the crisis,” Mai said.
Positive financial reports of air cargo sector partly helped Vietjet posting a consolidated profit after tax of approximately US$2 million for the first half of the year. According to Mai, Vietjet is considering expand its freight network as business operations are stable while the market demand is gradually recovering. Vietjet is maintaining its cargo fleet on domestic routes and a number of international ones to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia as requested by its customers. “The airline is reviewing to open a new route to Taiwan while increasing flight frequency on current routes. The fleet might get bigger with new passenger-aircrafts-turn-freighters depending on the market demand,” Mai said.