Six new routes set to give underused Can Tho Airport a fillip

By Cuu Long   February 24, 2019 | 05:39 pm PT
Six new routes set to give underused Can Tho Airport a fillip
Can Tho International Airport is operating at 30 percent of its capacity. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
After years of operating at just one-third capacity, Can Tho International Airport has something to look forward to this year.

Official figures show that after eight years of operation, the airport is now operating at just 30 percent capacity, with a few domestic routes to Hanoi, Da Nang City, and the Phu Quoc and Con Dao archipelagoes. It is also used for few charter flights to Thailand.

The reason for the low number of passengers is the city has not come up with policies to attract international airlines, Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said at a recent conference.

But Le Tien Dung, director of the Can Tho Department of Transport, said at a meeting last Friday that six new routes will be added to the city this year.

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia recently announced plans to begin the Kuala Lumpur – Can Tho service in April and Bangkok – Can Tho service in May.

Between March and May, budget airline Vietjet will also open four new domestic routes from Can Tho to Hai Phong City, Vinh City (Nghe An Province), Da Lat Town (Lam Dong Province) and Tho Xuan in Thanh Hoa Province.

Vietnam's newest carrier, Bamboo Airways, will launch a Can Tho-Hanoi route, adding to those being operated by Vietjet and state-owned Vietnam Airlines.

Pham Thanh Tam, director of the airport, said that the number of passengers rose 20 percent from 2017 to 815,000 last year.

Can Tho International Airport was built with a budget of VND3 trillion ($129.32 million). Its runway is 3 kilometers long and 45 meters wide, able to receive wide-body aircraft like the B777-300ER and B747-400.

The airport started operations in 2011 with a maximum capacity of 3 million passengers a year.

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