A Vietnam Airlines plane lands at the Can Tho Airport (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport and airlines have begun to implement decongestion measures to cope with the expected rush during Lunar New Year in early February.
  
The airport will increase the number of flights from 660 to 689 during the busiest days.

According to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), this year the airport served around 26 million passengers though the 25-million mark was only expected to be reached in 2020.

So the airport is often overloaded during peak hours and aircraft have to fly around before landing.

"A series of new routes has just been added and more aircrafts have come, but the infrastructure is overloaded," a spokesman for an airline said.

The year-end weather is often worse than at other times and that too is expected to impact flights.

"To improve the situation, Tan Son Nhat Airport is expanding parking bays and runways and adding security-check counters," Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper quoted Dang Tuan Tu, director of HCM City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport Authority, as saying.

All airlines have reviewed their operations, including flight timings and technical management, and discussed improving efficiency with airport and ground services operators.

Check-in counters are now closed 40 minutes before take-off.

Vietnam Airlines is reviewing and setting up leaner operations.

"Vietnam Airlines has adopted information technology to save time for passengers and ensure flights leave in time," a spokesperson said.

This Lunar New Year will see Vietjet Air operate 250 flights a day.

"Our human resources and equipment have been well arranged for Lunar New Year," a spokesman for the carrier said.

"Roads to Tan Son Nhat Airport can get congested at any time and aviation procedures might take longer due to crowds, and so customers should be at the airport three to four hours before their flights."

Authorities also suggested that the number of relatives and friends accompanying passengers to the airport should be reduced.-VNA