Anh Quan and Ngoc Lan
The corporation has written to the Ministry of Transport asking for permission to purchase the domestic terminal just days after VietJetAir expressed keen interest in taking over it.
Transport Minister Dinh La Thang has urged agencies under the ministry to draw up plans to sell the operation rights to Phu Quoc International Airport on the resort island of the same name and part of T1 at Noi Bai this year to raise funds for other projects including the big-ticket Long Thanh International Airport.
Vietnam Airlines said in its proposal submitted to the ministry that it wants to use T1 for its own flights and offer related services at the second biggest airport in Vietnam. The national flag carrier explained that it is popular for airlines worldwide to have their own terminals.
The national flag carrier said owning a terminal would make it possible to cut operation costs and improve the business efficiency of waiting lounges, check-in counters and other facilities at the terminal. This is also in accordance with the ministry’s policy to call for investments in aviation infrastructure development.
Vietnam Airlines wants to buy the terminal in line with the current regulations and price levels, using by its own capital and other sources including those of corporate and individual investors.
Earlier, VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company (VietJetAir) proposed the Transport Ministry transfer the terminal, which now serves domestic flights, to it for a period of 20 years. The carrier is now the second largest airline in Vietnam after Vietnam Airlines.
Asked about the proposals by Vietnam Airlines and VietJetAir, Vu Anh Minh, head of the Enterprise Management Department at the ministry, told the Daily that the ministry would consider plans to sell the terminal or transfer the operation rights to it.
Minh said the ministry would have T1 and Hall E evaluated before the ministry makes a decision. The ministry will organize an auction if both airlines want to buy the terminal or apply conditions concerning management and operation efficiency to find a qualified operator for the terminal.
He stressed the ministry will soon set out clear conditions and transfer criteria for investors to consider.
Last week, the ministry called a meeting to discuss plans to sell Phu Quoc International Airport and part of T1 at Noi Bai this year to raise funds for a number of aviation infrastructure projects, including the multi-billion-dollar Long Thanh airport project in the southern province of Dong Nai.
Minister Thang told the meeting that the ministry would sell Hall E of Noi Bai and Phu Quoc Airport off mainland Kien Giang Province.
T1 was built in 2001 for both international and domestic services with an annual handling capacity of six million passengers, but was soon overloaded before Hall E was put into use at the end of 2013. This 25,000-square-meter hall helped the terminal serve nine million passengers a year.
T1 was turned into a venue for all domestic flights at the end of last year when the second terminal, known as T2, was inaugurated. The new four-storey, US$900-million terminal covering more than 139,000 square meters can handle 10 million passengers a year in 2015-2020 and 15 million passengers a year in 2020-2030.
At present, domestic carriers including Vietnam Airlines, VietJetAir and Jetstar Pacific conduct flights to and from the old terminal.
In late 2014, Vietnam Airlines operated more than 300 daily flights on 57 international and 39 domestic routes. The airline now has a fleet of 83 aircraft and plans to increase the number to 101 in the middle of this year and 150 in 2020.
Vietnam Airlines will take delivery of Airbus A350 XWBs and Boeing B787-9s later this year. These are among the carrier’s strategic aircraft types for its long-haul routes. The airline plans to invest nearly VND63.3 trillion (US$2.96 billion) in its aircraft fleet expansion until 2020 as approved by the Government.
Đăng ký: VietNam News