Vietnam Airlines says losing $10.8-M in revenue a week due to virus

Reuters

Posted at Feb 13 2020 02:22 PM

Vietnamese authorities wearing protective suits receive Vietnamese repatriated from Chinese city of Wuhan, at Van Don airport, Quang Ninh province, Vietnam February 10, 2020. Reuters

HANOI - Vietnam Airlines said on Thursday it was losing up to 250 billion dong ($10.8 million) per week in revenue due to travel curbs resulting from the coronavirus.

The country's flag carrier is reducing operations and trying to cut costs to ride out the impact of the epidemic and "achieve a positive financial result" for this year, it said in an emailed statement.

It has suspended all flights to and from mainland China since the end of January, directly affecting 70,000 visitors per month between the two countries, it said.

"The epidemic has significantly reduced the travel demand of domestic and international tourists in the Vietnam network," the company said, adding that its passengers on domestic routes have also fallen by 20 percent to 30 percent over the past two weeks.

China, where the coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 1,300 people, is Vietnam's largest source of foreign tourists and largest trading partner. Chinese tourists accounted for one-third of the 18 million foreign tourists visiting Vietnam last year.

Vietnam Airlines' pre-tax profit rose 1.72 percent last year to $145.4 million.

The government said on Wednesday the virus has cost Vietnamese airlines about 10 trillion dong so far in lost revenues.

($1 = 23,239 dong) (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Arun Koyyur)