February 13, 2020 / 5:35 AM / 11 days ago

Vietnam Airlines says losing $10.8 million in revenue a week due to virus

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam Airlines HVN.HM said on Thursday it was losing up to 250 billion dong ($10.8 million) per week in revenue due to travel curbs resulting from the coronavirus.

The country’s flag carrier is reducing operations and trying to cut costs to ride out the impact of the epidemic and “achieve a positive financial result” for this year, it said in an emailed statement.

It has suspended all flights to and from mainland China since the end of January, directly affecting 70,000 visitors per month between the two countries, it said.

“The epidemic has significantly reduced the travel demand of domestic and international tourists in the Vietnam network,” the company said, adding that its passengers on domestic routes have also fallen by 20%-30% over the past two weeks.

China, where the coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 1,300 people, is Vietnam’s largest source of foreign tourists and largest trading partner. Chinese tourists accounted for one-third of the 18 million foreign tourists visiting Vietnam last year.

Vietnam Airlines’ pre-tax profit rose 1.72% last year to $145.4 million.

The government said on Wednesday the virus has cost Vietnamese airlines about 10 trillion dong so far in lost revenues.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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