National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has said it will auction 11 Airbus A321 CEO aircraft manufactured in 2004, 2007 and 2008.
The company has just signed an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to test the IATA Travel Pass, a type of electronic health passport application.
The sale, which is set to take place this year, is part of its program to replace old-generation aircrafts that have been used for over 12 years. It also aims to increase its cash flow at a time of trouble for the pandemic-hit aviation sector.
The carrier had sold nine aircraft last year and five in 2019. It had a fleet of 107 aircraft at the end of last year, including 51 Airbus A321 CEO aircraft.
The carrier posted its largest quarterly loss ever in Q1 at VND4.97 trillion ($216 million), pushing its accumulated loss to VND14.22 trillion, marginally surpassing its charter capital.
If its performance continues in the same vein, the airline’s HVN ticker on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) might be delisted. It has already received a warning from the bourse on April 15.￼
Last week, Vietnam Airlines has signed an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to test the IATA Travel Pass, a type of electronic health passport application.
Vietnam Airlines is the first air carrier in Vietnam to sign an electronic health passport agreement. This is considered a key to opening the border, creating favorable conditions for passengers to travel between countries, and at the same time meeting all entry requirements of the authorities at the destination.
IATA will support and coordinate closely with Vietnam Airlines throughout the trial period.
A Vietnam Airlines representative said that IATA and Vietnam Airlines will start trialing the IATA Travel Pass this June. Some passengers will be selected to download the IATA Travel Pass application for free on their mobile phones, create a digital personal profile including photos and passport information, and fill in flight information to be updated with epidemiological demand at the point of arrival.
Before departure, passengers must book an appointment and make a Covid-19 test or vaccination at a facility designated by the host country that is registered with IATA, and then share the results electronically and confirm flight status with the airline before commencing the journey.
According to Vietnam Airlines, the application helps air carriers and authorities check the validity of certificates and easily identify passengers. All personal information is confidential and is only shared with the passenger’s permission.
IATA Travel Pass integrates leading digital solutions such as contactless travel, biometric data, and electronic health certificates such as Covid-19 test results and Covid-19 vaccination. It is especially convenient and effective as it can replace the current paper procedures.
Vietnam Airlines General Director Le Hong Ha said that the trial of IATA Travel Pass will create a big step forward for the airline’s passengers and for the domestic aviation industry.
According to Ha, electronic health passport solutions such as the IATA Travel Pass should be widely allowed and recognized by governments to help quickly restore international passenger transport. The most important goal is to restore passenger confidence when traveling and ensure a safe and uncorrupted travel experience for all.
Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President of Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security Operations, said: “We are proud to welcome Vietnam Airlines as the first airline in Vietnam to apply the IATA Travel Pass. This is a solution to facilitate international travel during the pandemic, providing peace of mind, and ensuring that passengers meet all Covid-19 requirements upon entry.”
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