Vietnam Airlines is on track to achieve its profitability goals this year, with strong gains in cargo and passenger traffic for the first half of the year.

The Vietnam flag carrier reported a pretax profit of VND830 billion ($36.5 million) for the six months through June, which it said represented 51% of its full-year target. Revenue for the period was estimated at VND43 trillion, a year-over-year increase of 18%.

Vietnam Airlines increased its passenger total 6% to 10.3 million for the first half, with domestic routes up 9.3%. Freight volume exceeded the carrier’s target with a 24% increase.

The airline reported an on-time rate of 91.3% in the first half. This was up 6.1 points year-over-year, and 3.3 points higher than the target.

Vietnam Airlines said it has boosted its Boeing 787-9 fleet to 11 aircraft with 165 pilots, and now has seven Airbus A350s with 106 pilots. It has recently opened a 24/7 call center staffed with 100 telephone operators.

Adrian Schofield/Aviation Daily avweekscho@gmail.com