The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has flagged a shortage of aircraft among local carriers, becoming the second regulator in as many days to highlight the issue. 

In a statement on 2 April, the CAAV lists three reasons for the aircraft shortage. First, it singles out the ongoing reliability issues on the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbofan engine, noting that up to 42 affected aircraft have to be taken out of service this year for inspections. 

Vietjet aircraft in Hanoi

Source: Greg Waldron/FlightGlobal

Vietjet aircraft at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport in September 2023. The CAAV has flagged a shortage of aircraft among local operators.

The country’s two largest carriers, Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet, are major operators of PW1100G-powered Airbus A320neo family aircraft. The regulator notes that the engine technical issues may only be fully resolved around 2026-2027. 

The CAAV also cited the dire financial condition of other Vietnamese operators like Bamboo Airways and Pacific Airlines. Financially distressed Bamboo has shed most of its fleet as it shrunk its operations, leaving only five aircraft in operation. 

CAAV director general Dinh Viet Thang added that lease rates now are rising, amid an increase in demand. Thang notes that even if Vietnamese carriers “actively negotiate” for leased aircraft, it is “very difficult” to secure additional aircraft. 

Still, he notes that Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet are “working to increase their fleet size”. The CAAV is also proposing several steps to mitigate the aircraft shortage, including decreasing aircraft turnaround time, and increasing the utilisation rate. 

The CAAV’s comments come days after Malaysian regulators flagged a shortage of aircraft as a “pressing issue”, as passenger traffic moves closer to a full post-pandemic recovery this year.