Innovation and investment in infrastructure are required for Vietnam's aviation industry to develop, experts have told conferences at the Vietnam International Aviation Expo that opened on November 20 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Darren Hulst, senior managing director, market analysis & sales support, commercial airplanes, at Boeing, said the country’s aviation industry quadrupled in size in the last 10 years.
As the middle class expands, the growth potential for the industry also increases, he said.
"I think in some cases the challenges for aviation here are really because the market wants to grow so quickly. Investment in infrastructure is needed to continue to facilitate the growth."
Understanding the long-term view of Vietnam's aviation market and the potential for the next five or 10 years, and then investing systematically in areas such as airports and technician and pilot training is important for facilitating growth, he said.
Aviation growth brings economic growth, more spending and imports and exports, and so investment yields good returns, he added.VNA
Vietnam is becoming one of the top tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, Nguyen Van Hiep, former deputy director of the Government Office's Department 1, said.
The country has 23 airports and six domestic airlines, and it needs to ensure its airports and infrastructure are ready for the tourism boom, he said.
Patee Sarasin, founder and former CEO of Thai airline Nok Air, said while seeking innovation within the airline industry could be challenging, it is a good way to increase efficiency.
Carriers need to keep out of price wars and focus on innovation, good marketing and creating a feeling of excitement rather than just offer cheap prices.
"The minute it becomes a commodity, then there is no way to innovate, it will be just buy seats for cheap prices, and customers' behaviour will be built that way."
Airlines could seek partners to do creative thinking to create excitement, while they just focus on their projects, he added.
The Vietnam International Aviation Expo, which will end on November 22, is showcasing the latest equipment, products and technologies in the aviation industry.
The first such exhibition in Vietnam has attracted more than 50 exhibitors from 20 countries and territories.