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Airline Sector Update - Stellar domestic segment growth leads recovery

Sector Reports
19/09/2022

- We maintain a generally positive view on the recovery of the airline sector in 2022-2026 as (1) all restrictions on domestic air travel in Vietnam have been lifted and (2) the Government has taken quick action to relax entry requirements and restore international flights in 2022.

- We currently forecast the domestic volumes of Vietnam’s two major airlines (HVN and VJC) to surpass pre-COVID levels in 2022 by 14%/20%, respectively, as there has been strong growth in demand for domestic air travel during the initial recovery period. We estimate that the number of domestic passengers in 7M 2022 was equal to 117% of the 7M 2019 level.

- Meanwhile, the recovery of international air transportation has been slow, which we attribute to the strict zero-COVID policy of China — Vietnam’s largest source of international arrivals pre-pandemic. Based on our current forecasts, HVN’s and VJC’s combined international volume (in terms of RPK) in 2022 will be equal to 34% of the pre-COVID number vs 33% in our previous projection. Moreover, we assume that total international volume will only recover to roughly equal 2019’s level in 2024.

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