A Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Cat Bi International Airport on Thursday morning, marking the first flight to the airport after it was upgraded for international services.
The expanded airport in the northern city of Hai Phong was also hosting an inauguration ceremony, with many new flights being scheduled on both domestic and international routes.
The new airport will have direct flights to China, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and other countries. It is expected to help boost tourism to Hai Phong, known for Do Son Beach and Cat Ba Islands and located 75 kilometers from Ha Long Bay.
It is also expected to reduce some of the pressure for Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, which is 105 kilometers away.
Cat Bi is also launching new domestic routes to more local tourist destinations, including Hai Phong, Phu Quoc and Da Lat. There will be flights connecting the city with Nghe An and Can Tho.
The upgrade project started in 2013 with a total investment of more than VND3.6 trillion (US$161.4 million).
The airport now can serve 4 million passengers annually and is capable of receiving large aircraft like Boeing 747 and 777.
The airport served 1.3 million passengers and transported 6,300 tons of goods last year, with an average of 35 flights every day.