HCMC airport dealing with a host of problems caused by huge passenger numbers and poor staff attitudes.
As at October 18 the number of delayed flights at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport this year reached 13,038 while the number of canceled flights was 387, according to a report from the Southern Airports Authority (SAA).
The reasons for the delays and cancellations were technical operations, commercial factors, and inclement weather.
The poor layout of the domestic terminal resulted in slow flows of passengers, the report also noted, especially around the Vietjet Air check-in counters. Prices of goods such as water, rice, and noodles are too high compared to outside and the staff have a poor service attitude.
SAA acknowledged that the rate of delayed and canceled flights remains high, especially for domestic flights, which are usually delayed for over 30 minutes, with short notice given. On public holidays many passengers on domestic flights are transferred to flights the following day.
Passenger attitudes are also still a problem, with many disturbing or intimidating cabin crews, smoking on board, or opening exit doors.
According to a representative from customs at the airport, because it still uses a computer system dating from 2007 the processing of passengers is a slow process.
“The number of passengers at Tan Son Nhat increases by 3 million each year and in the next two years the number will reach 30 million,” according to the Director of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Mr. Dang Tuan Tu. “The overload at the airport will become worse so the quality of services can’t be improved.”
He added that the airport has set up hotlines and uses a new wi-fi provider to address problems. The Director of the SAA, Mr. Tran Doan Mau, has committed to providing new computers to improve customs procedures and security as well as passenger services. SAA also aims to engage more staff to cope with the growth in passenger numbers.
There are about 44 airlines operating into and out of Tan Son Nhat, including four domestic airlines and 40 international carriers. In the first nine months of this year passenger traffic reached 21.7 million, an increase of 18.83 per cent, with 354.585 million tons of cargo handled, up 5.25 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The airport was recently rated among the Top 10 Worst Airports in Asia, at 4th, up from last year’s 8th, according to The Guide to Sleeping in Airports. The higher ranking stemmed from allegations of corruption.