With the exception of Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai, the other 20 airports around the country have been making losses or barely broken even, local media reported.
The troubled airports often operate far below their designed capacities, as they are still in the middle of completing their infrastructure, CEO Le Manh Hung of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) said, as cited by news website VnExpress.
He was speaking at a roadshow for ACV's upcoming IPO held recently in Hanoi.
Chu Lai Airport in the central province of Quang Nam, for instance, can serve 500,000 passengers a year, but the number of passengers last year was equivalent to just above 8 percent of the designed capacity.
Other airports such as the one in the resort island of Phu Quoc and Lien Khuong Airport near the Central Highlands resort town of Da Lat mostly operate at 11-37 percent of their capacities.
Hung said it will take the airports some time to break even, noting that some airports such as Da Nang in the central city of Da Nang and Cat Bi in the northern city of Hai Phong have achieved that.
He further stressed that an effective system of airports needs both big and small airports to make connections better.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi have made considerable contributions to ACV's revenues and profits, he said.
The country's biggest airport Tan Son Nhat is now operating at 11 percent above its capacity, and it posted revenues of nearly VND3.6 trillion ($158 million) last year, while Noi Bai's revenues were estimated at nearly VND2.5 trillion ($109.76 million), the website reported.
More than 46.5 million passengers were served at ACV's airports in the first nine months, up 22.3 percent year on year, according to its figures. The amount of goods saw an increase of 16.1 percent, to over 716,000 tons.
ACV, which also has 13 subsidiaries, mostly operating in ground services, reported over VND2.43 trillion ($106.69 million) in net profits last year, up 9.3 percent from 2013.
Its net profits are forecast to be nearly VND1.72 trillion ($75.51 million) this year.
Under a plan recently approved by the government, ACV will sell a 3.47 percent stake, or more than 77.8 million shares, at its IPO to be held on December 10.
The starting price is set at VND11,800 (about 51 cents) per share, meaning that the IPO, if completed, will bring in a total VND918 billion ($40.3 million).
With a charter capital of around VND22.43 trillion ($984.8 million), the company has also been seeking strategic partners for another 20 percent stake. It will also sell a 1.12 percent stake to its employees.