Hydrofoil services to resume by month-end - Hydrofoil services to resume by month-end - Website Ho Chi Minh City
The Ho Chi Minh City’s government has approved a resumption of hydrofoil services between the City and Vung Tau by the end of this month after nearly one year of interruption, according to a local newspaper.
Bui Cong Trung, Chairman of Vina Express, told the Saigon Times Daily that his firm is preparing to resume its service by the month-end.
Tran Quoc Hieu, Deputy Director of Quang Hung Transportation Co. Ltd., or Petro Express, was quoted as saying that one hydrofoil of his company would re-enter into service later this month and another would be re-commissioned next year.
The city government on December 15 issued a document allowing hydrofoil operators to resume services, and asked the departments of transport and fire prevention to conduct safety checks.
Earlier this year, the HCM City government suspended all hydrofoil services between HCM City and Vung Tau city after a Vina Express hydrofoil with 85 passengers on board, including 37 foreigners, caught fire.
Two days after the incident, all hydrofoils plying the HCM City-Vung Tau route were forced to suspend operations for safety inspections.
Later, inspectors of the Ministry of Transport and the HCM City Department of Transport inspected and found all hydrofoils were over 20 years old and some parts of these boats, especially the hulls, were deteriorating.
The Government issued a decree regulating the years in service for boats on domestic routes and new rules are expected to take effect early next year. Accordingly, hydrofoils can operate longer, but their safety conditions should be strictly inspected.
For example, boats with years in service end before January 5, 2015 will be allowed to operate until the end of 2016. Meanwhile, hydrofoils with the lifespan expiry from January 5, 2015 to from January 5, 2016 will be able to operate until December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2018 respectively.
However, hydrofoils with registered years in service ending on January 5, 2017 will not be permitted to operate further.