Hanoi company seeks purchase of state-run Phu Quoc Airport

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Foreign tourists go aboard a Vietnam Airlines plane in Phu Quoc. Photo: Diep Duc Minh Foreign tourists go aboard a Vietnam Airlines plane in Phu Quoc. Photo: Diep Duc Minh

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Vietnamese real estate company T&T has offered to buy Phu Quoc Airport on the southern resort island amid a government plan to privatize some major airports in the country. 
A source from the Transport Ministry said the Hanoi-based private company wants to either purchase the two-year-old airport completely or acquire operating rights to the facility. 
T&T has pledged to continue upgrading the airport and not to resell it within five years, the source told news website VnExpress. 
Phu Quoc Airport opened in December 2012 after a VND3 trillion (US$140.7 million) investment from state-owned Airports Corporation of Vietnam.
The airport is receiving flights from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City.
It served the first international service more than a year ago when a Vietnamese tourism company brought in charter flights from Russia. 
The flights have been suspended since late last year as the number of Russian tourists dropped along with the ruble. The company said they will resume the service this June.
Vietnam Airlines launched direct flights from the island to Singapore last November and to Cambodia’s Siem Reap last December.
T&T is the first private investor that offered to buy the airport after Transport Minister Dinh La Thang asked the country’s sole airport manager to consider transferring several airports. 
Phu Quoc has a runway of three kilometers long and 45 meters wide to accommodate large aircraft.
It has parking space for eight large aircraft and the passenger terminal of nearly 2.5 hectares, designed to serve 2.65 million passengers a year.
The airport served nearly 700,000 passengers, around 37 percent of whom foreigners, in 2013, and more than 666,000 during the first eight years of 2014.

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