Phu Quoc Airport was opened to the domestic flights of Vietnam Airlines and Air Mekong yesterday, four years after the mammoth project offshore mainland Kien Giang Province got off the ground.
Air Mekong told the Daily yesterday that its Bombardier aircraft with 90 passengers on board took off from Tan Son Nhat Airport and touched on Phu Quoc International Airport in the Mekong Delta province.
The private airline currently services twice a day on the HCMC-Phu Quoc route and three times a week between Hanoi and the new airport in Duong To Municipality in Phu Quoc District.
Vietnam Airlines had also its planes landed at the Phu Quoc International Airport yesterday. The national flagship carrier said in a statement that passengers had been informed of check-in procedures and baggage claim for its domestic flights from and to Phu Quoc at the new airport from December 2 instead of the airport in Duong Dong Municipality.
Vietnam Airlines called for passengers to arrange more time for their travel to the new airport on Phu Quoc as it is seven kilometers south of the heart of Duong Dong Municipality.
In the winter schedule, Vietnam Airlines conducts 67 weekly flights to and from Phu Quoc, including 56 services between HCMC and the resort island, four on the HCMC-Rach Gia-Phu Quoc, seven on the Phu Quoc-Can Tho routes.
Vietnam Airlines will fly between Hanoi and Phu Quoc from December 12, or three days ahead of a planned official opening ceremony planned by Airports Corporation of Vietnam for the Phu Quoc International Airport. Vietnam Airlines also plans use of Airbus A321 aircraft for certain flights between HCMC and Phu Quoc rather than the small-sized ATR72 planes.
The Phu Quoc International Airport can handle bigger aircraft, including Boeing B747-400 and some 2.65 million passengers a year.
The Ministry of Transport issued Decision 3096/QD-BGTVT on November 30 for shutdown of the old airport in Duong Dong Municipality from 11:59 p.m. of December 1.
Construction began on the Phu Quoc International Airport in November 2008. This airport project worth VND16.2 trillion (more than US$777 million) was previously scheduled for opening in the second quarter of 2012 but is only in place in the fourth quarter of this year. Covering more than 900 hectares, this new airport is designed to handle 20 aircraft at a time, including such modern planes as Boeing B777, B747s and even Airbus A380.
The HCMC-Bangkok daily flight will leave HCMC at some 11a.m. and arrive in Bangkok after one and a half hour. Meanwhile, the Bangkok-HCMC trip will depart from Suvarnabhumi Airport at about 1:30p.m.
The low-cost airline has launched for sale air tickets for the service on www.vietjetair.com and at its ticket booths and sale agents nationwide along with the call center at 19001886.
VietJetAir now is operating seven domestic routes flying to Hanoi, HCMC, Haiphong, Danang, Nha Trang, Vinh and Thua Thien-Hue. It will open new services connecting HCMC with Phu Quoc and Hanoi with Dalat City next month.
VietJetAir is the first private carrier in Vietnam licensed for running domestic and international flights. The carrier is currently conducting 22 flights per day, with a plan to increase the number of daily flights to 42 by the year’s end.