One more carrier joins race for Vietnam airport purchases

Source: Pano feed

With two of its rivals having recently unveiled interest in buying passenger terminals at airports across Vietnam, low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines has decided that it cannot stay out of the game.


Jetstar has proposed acquiring the right to exploit an old terminal at Da Nang International Airport to serve its budget airline business, according to a document the carrier submitted to the Ministry of Transport.

The no-frills carrier wants to operate the old terminal, which was ‘retired’ when the new one was commissioned in late 2011, for 20 to 50 years, according to the proposition.

Located in the central hub of Da Nang, the airport reached its design capacity of five million passengers last year.

The Jetstar proposal came less than a week after multifaceted conglomerate Hanoi T&T suggested buying Phu Quoc International Airport, located on the eponymous island off the southern Vietnamese coast.

Two of its local competitors, no-frills VietJet Air and national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines , have also shown interest in buying Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

These propositions from the airlines are an encouraging response to the transport ministry’s call for private non-public investments in the country’s traffic infrastructure, especially airports or seaports .

Jetstar said having the right to exploit the old Da Nang terminal will enable the carrier to improve its service quality and create more convenience for passengers.

“It will also be a chance to encourage other airlines under the Jetstar Group to operate services to Da Nang, contributing to boosting the city’s tourism and economy,” the airline said.

The Jetstar Group consists of other Jetstar-branded airlines in the Asia-Pacific region, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan, whose stake is held by Qantas Group, which owns 100 percent of Jetstar Airways in Australia.

The VND1.3 trillion (US$60.58 million) Da Nang International Airport handles around 10,000 passengers served by three local and eight international airlines on a daily basis. The airport is projected to serve eight million passengers by 2020, and 22 million by 2030, according to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

New terminal proposed

A group of three investors are seeking permission from the transport ministry to build a new terminal with a capacity of four million passengers a year at the Da Nang airport.

The Thang Long Air Services Corporation (TASECO), AOV Invest Corp (AOV), and Hanoi Construction Corporation (HANCORP), which call their venture TAH, said they will carry out the project under the BOT (build-operate-transfer) scheme.

TAH asserted that they have the financial and technological ability to build a quality terminal, which will enable the Da Nang airport to become the third of its kind in Vietnam to have separate terminals for domestic and international services.

Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang last month requested that the Vietnamese aviation sector focus on pilot programs to sell 100 percent of the government’s investment in Phu Quoc airport and part of Da Nang airport to budget airlines, before doing so with the Hanoi facility.

The right transfers will generate money to invest in building new international airports, Minister Thang he said at a meeting in the capital city.

Hanoi T&T, which operates in industry, finance, and real estate, wants to either purchase all of the assets of the airport on Phu Quoc Island, which is administered by the southern province of Kien Giang, or acquire the right to operate its services.

VietJet Air has asked for the right to exploit Terminal T1, one of the two terminals at Noi Bai, for 20 years, whereas Vietnam Airlines wants to directly purchase the same terminal instead of acquiring the right to operate the facility for a limited term.

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Đăng ký: VietNam News