|A design mock up of Van Don International Airport in Van Don Economic Zone (Photo quangninh.gov.vn)
Vietjet Air CEO Luu Duc Khanh gave his hosts an overview of the budget airline, saying it has a fleet of about 60 aircraft and Quang Ninh is a promising market in its expansion plan.
Khanh hoped Vietjet Air would receive continued support from local authorities and airport operators once the new route is launched. He also revealed that the carrier plans to introduce various promotional deals and discounts to attract passengers to the new services, so he wants the province to provide it with subsidised airfare and airport fees.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long, for his part, said after three years of construction, Van Don International Airport is scheduled to open in late December.
The province will consider offering its own incentives to airlines in the early stages of the airport’s operation, he added.
Construction on Van Don International Airport started in 2015 with total investment of VND7.5 trillion (US$330 million). Located in Doan Ket commune in Van Don district, the airport covers 288 hectares and is the first in Vietnam to operate under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
It will have support facilities and a two-module terminal. A cargo terminal is expected to be built by 2030.
Under a March decision by the Ministry of Transport, Van Don will be an international airport, serving both civilian and military flights with a 3.6km-long and 45m-wide runway. The airport will have an annual capacity of 2 – 2.5 million passengers by 2020, which will increase to five million by 2030.
The first calibration flight landed safely at Van Don International Airport on July 11.
As Van Don District is among three special economic zones planned in the country, the airport is expected to boost the local economy, including tourism at world-famous Ha Long Bay.
The airport is located roughly 50km northeast of the world heritage site in Quang Ninh province.
With 60 A320 and A321 aircraft, Vietjet Air runs more than 385 flights per day and has carried more than 65 million passengers on 103 routes to destinations at home and abroad. The carrier plans to operate more than 120,000 flights and serve some 24.1 million passengers by the end of 2018.