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VN Airlines reaches for the sky   2010-12-24 - VNS

Vietnam Airlines greeted its 12 millonth passenger at Noi Bai Airport yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

Vietnam Airlines greeted its 12 millonth passenger at Noi Bai Airport yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

 Vietnam Airlines would continue its long-term development strategy in an attempt to become the second largest airline in the region by 2020, the airline's general director Pham Hong Minh told a press conference held yesterday in Ha Noi.

Top priority would be given to making further investment in infrastructure, speeding up the fleet development, expanding the route network and improving service quality, Minh said.

Despite the global financial market's instability and the negative impacts of natural disasters and bad weather, the national carrier still managed to exceed its business targets set for this year.

Minh underlined accurate market estimates and good resources in preparation for the recovery of the market as important factors contributing to this year's performance.

Vietnam Airlines estimated it would make a total revenue of VND36.26 trillion (US$1.77 billion) by the year-end, an annual increase of 47.3 per cent, with pre-tax profit of over VND350 billion ($17 million), up 130 per cent year-on-year.

The airline launched 88,000 domestic and foreign flights with over 12.3 million passengers and 166,000 tonnes of cargo, an increase from the previous year of 34 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively.

It became a full member of the global airline alliance SkyTeam in June that helped enhance its position in the regional and international aviation markets.

"Vietnam Airlines will continue to sharpen competitiveness and make full use of new opportunities to expand operations," Minh said.

The airline targeted to transport over 14 million passengers and carry 193,000 tonnes of cargo in 2011, an increase of 20 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, against this year.

Its total sales were expected to reach VND45.5 trillion ($2.17 billion), up 28 per cent year-on-year.

In order to meet the needs of people travelling during the up-coming Tet (lunar New Year) holiday, Vietnam Airlines said it would add 583 flights on 10 routes to its timetable, more than an additional 100,000 seats.

Vietnam Airlines yesterday also welcomed its 12 millionth passenger of the year at Noi Bai Airport, fulfilling its annual target early.

The target was announced by the carrier's deputy general director Duong Tri Thanh at a press conference held in HCM City in July.

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