According to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation’s ‘markets to watch’ in 2007, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia are both expected to undergo rapid development.
The Centre’s chairman, Peter Harbison, says “Flag carriers of both countries are on the runway to privatisation, while low-cost entries will stimulate strong rates of traffic growth over the next 12 months.”
Vietnam’s Pacific Airlines is now offering both domestic and international services in response to rising competition from Tiger Airways and AirAsia. Vietnam’s aviation sector is expanding rapidly, up 13.1% (passenger) and 14.4% (freight) in 2006.
Saudi Arabia’s National Air Services (private charter operator) is expected to launch services to serve domestic and regional destinations in the Middle East. And Sama has been awarded a new airline license.
Both countries are also expanding their airport infastructure to accommodate the expected sharp increases in demand. Saudi Arabia is investing USD8 billion to expand Jeddah, Medina and Tabuk airports. Vietnam is developing a replacement airport for the congested Than Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.