Vietnam’s seaplane firm expands wings to Mui Ne

By Tieu Thien, Thanh Nien News

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The first two seaplanes that landed in Phan Thiet on January 3 afternoon, carrying 14 Russian tourists from Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tieu Thien The first two seaplanes that landed in Phan Thiet on January 3 afternoon, carrying 14 Russian tourists from Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tieu Thien

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Tourists from Ho Chi Minh City to the popular south central resort town of Phan Thiet, which includes the “Little Moscow” Mui Ne, will this month have another option: seaplane.
Hai Au Aviation Company, which debuted the service in Vietnam, launched its HCMC-Phan Thiet tour on Saturday on two seaplanes.
The debut trip was a charter one carrying 14 Russian tourists, which took off at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and landed at Bau Trang resort in Binh Thuan Province at around 12:30 p.m.
Luong Hoai Nam, managing director of the Nha Trang-based company, said it was the first commercial fight of the company in the South.
Hai Au in September launched its first seaplane service between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.
Nam told news website Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) that the company is finishing procedures for the Phan Thiet service and expected to being selling tickets on January 10.
He said they also planned to roll out seaplane tours from HCMC to Nha Trang and the Mekong Delta’s hub --  Can Tho City -- in January.
The company uses seaplanes made by the US company Cessna. The seaplanes travel at around 300 kilometers per hour. They can land or take off on a runway on water.
Large windows allow the passengers to sight-see from 500 to 3,000 meters high.
Each seaplane can carry 12 people and costs US$250 each. Vietnamese nationals are charged $175 each.
Thai Hoang Dung, a representative of the company in Mui Ne, said they are capping the maximum number of passengers at six to eight a seaplane to ensure they feel safe and comfortable.
 

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