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Jetstar Pacific makes bid for Da Nang airport

Update: March, 18/2015 - 08:48

Da Nang International Airport is the third busiest airport in Viet Nam. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines (JPA) has proposed purchasing the operational rights to the old terminal of Da Nang international airport, the third busiest airport in Viet Nam.

Da Nang airport in the central city of Da Nang is one of several domestic airports earmarked by the transport ministry for the transfer of operational rights to raise funds that will be used for modernising other airports and building new ones.

The other airports affected are the T1 terminal of Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi, Phu Quoc international airport in the southern province of Kien Giang and Cam Ranh airport in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa.

In order to get the operational rights for the Da Nang airport terminal, JPA may have to compete with a joint venture of three domestic investors: Thang Long Air Services Corporation, AOV Investment Joint Stock Company and Ha Noi Construction Corporation.

The joint venture has proposed that the transport ministry should build a new terminal at Da Nang airport, with an annual capacity of 4 million passengers, under a Build-Operate-Transfer model. However, their plan has not yet been approved, and it could not be verified whether their project covers the old terminal chosen by JPA.

Earlier, the T&T Group had requested the transport ministry to allow it to buy Phu Quoc International Airport.

The group is the first to ask the ministry to approve its investment in the airport after Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang asked the Airports Corporation of Viet Nam to prepare a pilot plan to sell a 100 per cent stake in Phu Quoc Airport during a meeting held in Ha Noi last month.

Meanwhile, both national carrier Viet Nam Airlines and private carrier VietJet Air asked the ministry to transfer to them the operational rights to the T1 terminal of Noi Bai International Airport.

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

At a meeting held in Ha Noi last month, Minister Thang addressed the proposal of VietJet Air and ordered the Airports Corporation of Viet Nam to launch a pilot program to transfer the operational rights of Hall E to the airline.

VietJet Air now leases the entire Hall E of Terminal T1, which currently serves only passengers of domestic flights operated by the carrier and JPA, after the commission of the modern Terminal T2 late last year.

At a recent meeting discussing the two airlines' proposal to buy the T1 terminal, many participants proposed the two airlines should join a venture to exploit the T1 terminal together or suggested allowing Viet Nam Airlines to exploit the T1 terminal while VietJet Air uses only Hall E.

If no proposal is chosen, a public auction will be held to find a qualified operator for the terminal, experts said at the meeting.

Meanwhile, a legal document replacing the current decree on airport management and exploitation is being created by authorised agencies. It will add more regulations related to transferring the operational rights of airports. — VNS

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