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Airlines resume services to Phu Bai airport in Hue

2011-06-16 (GMT + 7)

Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific has resumed their flights to Phu Bai Airport on June 14, a month after they had to suspend services to the destination in central Vietnam’s Hue City as the airport was closed to have its only runway upgraded.

Dinh Viet Thang, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, confirmed about the re-opening of the international airport in Thua Thien-Hue Province.

Vietnam Airlines said that it would provide four daily flights to Hue from Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and three from Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi. Vietnam’s low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific flies two times a day between Ho Chi Minh City and the former imperial capital city.

Jetstar Pacific said that it had to call off services to Hue during the closure of Phu Bai but still sold tickets for its flights from June 14.

The shutdown of Phu Bai Airport from May 13 to June 13 has prompted an outcry from both airlines and tour operators because they said they had not been given enough time to adjust their business plans and cope with the closure of the 2,700-meter-long runway at the airport.

A number of travel agents had stopped receiving bookings for the flights more than a week ahead of the closure day since Middle Airports Corporation previously had announced a plan to upgrade the airport’s runway from May 5 to June 5. But this intention did not happen until May 13.

The temporary closure of Phu Bai forced Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific to operate more flights to Danang Airport to meet rising demand for air travel to the central region. During the upgrade period, Vietnam Airlines had 11 daily flights to Danang from Ho Chi Minh City and nine daily flights from Hanoi while Jetstar Pacific performed four daily flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang and two from Hanoi.

Thua Thien-Hue province’s authorities, airlines, companies of Vietnam tour and hotels in central Vietnam arranged buses to transport passengers some 100 kilometers between Hue and Danang when the runway of Phu Bai Airport was upgraded.

Middle Airports Corporation completed the runway upgrade last week at a cost of some VND15 billion (around US$730,000). The upgrade now allows Phu Bai International Airport to handle Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft during the daytime and at night.

Source: SGT

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