Southeast Asian tourist destination, Vietnam has seen air traffic grow in recent years as the sector expands. With a population of around 100 million people, the country experiences an average air travel growth of 12% per year.
However, the commercial aircraft fleet of the Vietnamese companies would be too large for the average demand of the routes, according to an Embraer report presented in April during a visit by an E190-E2 to the country.
It is because of the need for smaller capacity aircraft than the A320 and 737 used in Vietnam that has led the Brazilian manufacturer to offer the E2 family.
To prove its thesis of better connectivity with regional jets, Embraer presented very interesting figures about Côn Đảo, a tourist archipelago located 230 km from Ho Chi Minh, the largest city in the country.
In 2019, the island received about 400,000 tourists and in 2020, even with Covid-19, 448,000 people. Until then, only ATR turboprops were used at Côn Đảo airport, which has a runway of about 1,800 meters.
In 2020, Bamboo Airways, one of the new Vietnamese airlines, began operating in the archipelago with Embraer E-jets, and the result was that in just six months the number of passengers more than doubled.
Currently there are 36 daily flights at the airport, 20 of which are operated by E-Jets. In addition to allowing the expansion of the number of seats, Brazilian aircraft multiplied the destinations served, from just two to seven cities, including the capital Hanoi, which until then had been beyond the reach of turboprops.
The result was so positive that the government is already planning to expand the airport infrastructure to allow the island to receive around 2 million tourists a year.
A320 family dominates Vietnamese fleet
The five airlines operating in Vietnam, including the state-owned Vietnam Airlines, use A320 family jets, especially the larger A321, as their main aircraft, which explains the high number of seats available and the difficulty of operating in smaller airports.
With the exception of Vasco, a regional company that operates a small fleet of ATR 72s, and some of these turboprops on Vietnam Airlines, only Bamboo has a fleet of jets in the 100-seat range. There are five E190s leased by CDB Aviation – the airline had another five E195s in its fleet until recently.
Vietnam Airlines is one of the candidates to invest in regional jets. In June, the airline’s CEO revealed that the company is evaluating the E2 as well as the Airbus A220.