Three Vietnamese banks have pledged to lend 4 trillion dong (US$173.8 million) to Vietnam Airlines to help the troubled flag carrier survive the downturn in aviation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid bankruptcy, local media reported on Monday (21 June).
Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank, Saigon – Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank and SeABank would make the loans later this month and early next month, online newspaper Dan Viet cited the central bank as saying. The airline, which is 86 per cent owned by the government, reported a net loss of 4.97 trillion dong in the first quarter of this year
State media last week cited the Ministry of Planning and Investment as saying the airline would likely make a net loss of 10 trillion dong in the first half of this year and was on the brink of bankruptcy. Vietnam Airlines earlier this month said it would sell 11 Airbus A321 aircraft through an auction.
The legal procedures for an aid package designated for the local aviation sector have been completed, and the VND4 trillion loan, part of the package, is “scheduled to be disbursed to Vietnam Airlines late June or early July,” Dang Anh Tuan, head of the carrier’s Communications Department, told VnExpress Monday. Late last year, the National Assembly had approved an aid package of VND12 trillion for the troubled carrier.
Vietnam Airlines’ overdue debts have surged to 6.24 trillion dong. According to a report recently drafted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the carrier, which racked up losses of nearly 5 trillion dong in the first quarter of 2021, is likely to make losses of 10 trillion dong in the first half of this year.