Airlines seek to open new flight routes
HCM CITY — Southern Airports Corporation, airlines, tourism companies and representatives from provinces are co-operating to open new air routes.
The airports in Lam Dong Province and Can Tho City are now operating, and the Phu Quoc Island airport is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2012.
Lai Xuan Thanh, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam, said all three airports would connect to international airports in Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.
These airports are located in the country's major tourism regions.
The general director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, Nguyen Van Tuan, said the airports would help develop Phu Quoc Island's entertainment, sea and resort tourism and resorts in Lam Dong Province's Da Lat City and exploration of the Mekong Delta in Can Tho.
According to the aviation administration statistics, the local flights to three airports are highly booked, usually from 80 to 90 per cent.
The general director of the Southern Airports Corporation, Nguyen Nguyen Hung, said in the first half of the year, the number of passengers through Can Tho Airport increased by 30.3 per cent, and cargo by 26 per cent compared with 2009.
Da Lat's Lien Khuong Airport figures were 28.5 per cent and 25 per cent.
Thanh said the administration would create every favourable condition for the airlines to open new routes.
They will cut airline companies' costs for arrival/departure, take-off/landing, security scans and the rental price of luggage conveyors.
Vo Huy Cuong, head of the administration's transport department, said the low-cost airline Thai Air Asia also had plans to open a non-stop route from Lien Khuong to international destinations even though no specific plan has been implemented.
The chief representative of United Airlines in Viet Nam, Clodela Ty, said provinces and beneficiaries from new routes would help attract tourists and investors to Can Tho, Da Lat and Phu Quoc.
Nguyen Quoc Ky, general director of Vietravel Tourism Company, said more new routes would facilitate the transport of the increasing number of tourists to Phu Quoc Island.
A representative from the Vong Tron Tourism Company suggested that provinces focus on improving the foreign language skills of tourism employees
Air Mekong to take flight
Cuong said Mekong Aviation, which has requested to change its name to Air Mekong, would make its maiden flight on October 10.
Air Mekong will use four Bombadier planes, manufactured in Canada. The first plane will be in Viet Nam on August 15 for staff training and three others will arrive later in August and September.
Every flight will have 14 business seats and 76 economy seats, the same price as Vietnam Airlines. Air Mekong will have Ha Noi-Phu Quoc-Ho Chi Minh City route as well as others with more than 20 flights per day. With the participation of Air Meking, Viet Nam will have four airlines – Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vasco and Air Mekong – that will exploit local routes. — VNS