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Vietnam Airlines hopes to buy Noi Bai's Terminal 1

Update: March, 03/2015 - 09:09
A corner of the terminal 1's hall E at Noi Bai International Airport. The terminal is being exploited by VNA, Vietjet, Jetstar and Hai Au airlines firms.— File Photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — National carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has asked the transport ministry to allow it to buy Terminal 1 (T1) at Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi.

In a document sent to the ministry, VNA said that it will use the terminal for operational management and services for its passengers and for operating domestic flights.

According to VNA Chairman Pham Viet Thanh, the firm plans to buy T1 for the price that will be set following the current regulation. It will mobilise capital internally, as well as from other businesses and individuals.

Terminal T1, spanning 115,000 square meters, is capable of serving nine million passengers per year with 19 boarding gates.

VNA's proposal was sent after Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang gave the green light to a pilot plan to sell the operational rights of international airports, in order to mobilise investment capital for the country's aviation infrastructure projects, including the Long Thanh International Airport.

This is the first time that Viet Nam has planned to sell the operational rights of airports.

The sector expects to sell all State-owned capital at Phu Quoc International Airport, the operational rights of T1's Hall E and part of several other airports this year.

Earlier, VietJet Air Vice Chairman Nguyen Thanh Hung sent a document to the minister, proposing to buy the operational rights of the whole T1 for 20 years.

Economist Le Dang Doanh told Radio the Voice Viet Nam (VOV) that equitisation or privatisation of airports has been taking place in the world for a long time. For example, Heathrow Airport in London and Budapest Airport in Hungary have been privatised. The equitisation of such airports has brought positive results.

Doanh said that privatisation of airports will help the State receive a certain capital amount. With this, the State can invest in building infrastructure and other airports. However, it needs to have a detailed legal framework for airport management by private businesses.

"It's necessary to have a law on equitisation and privatisation from the National Assembly (NA). From that, the NA will have an independent supervisory role, as well as be able to do explicit assessment," said Doanh. — VNS

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