Van Don Airport near Ha Long Bay receives first international flight

By Nguyen Quy   May 27, 2019 | 11:05 pm PT
Van Don Airport near Ha Long Bay receives first international flight
Cua Van fishing village in Ha Long Bay. Photo by Shutterstock/Huy Thoai
Van Don International Airport, Vietnam’s first private airport and situated near Ha Long Bay, received its first international flight from China on Monday.

The charter flight, a Boeing 737-800 operated by China’s Donghai Airlines, touched down with 140 passengers from Shenzhen City.

The route has become bi-weekly – on Mondays and Fridays – and marks the first step in the airport’s strategy to attract international flights.

More charter flights from China’s Nanning Province, South Korea’s Incheon and Taiwan are expected to arrive next month, Pham Ngoc Sau, the airport's director, said.

Two more services to destinations in Thailand and Japan would be launched next October and December, he added.

Vietnam’s newest airline, Bamboo Airways, is planning to operate direct flights from Van Don to Taoyuan City in Taiwan.

The 325-hectare (803 acres) airport, owned by real estate giant Sun Group, opened last December, and three Vietnamese carriers, Vietnam Airlines, low-cost Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways, operate daily flights to it.

The airport makes it easier for foreign tourists to reach Ha Long Bay, named among the world’s seven new natural wonders in 2011.

The bay was used to film Hollywood blockbuster "Kong: Skull Island" and is a favorite with many travel bloggers.

Vietnam’s aviation industry has been growing at the third fastest pace in the Asia-Pacific, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

It carried 12.5 million passengers last year, up 14.4 percent from 2017, the General Statistics Office reported.

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