Passengers get off an airplane at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Airlines transported an estimated 52.2 million passengers in 2016, up 29 percent from the previous year, according to a report by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

Of them, domestic passengers accounted for 28 million, an increase of 30 percent.

The report also said patronage of low-cost carriers rose dramatically to around 15 million, or well more than half all domestic passengers.

The ratio of airline passengers to population rose from 0.5 percent in 2012 to 0.8 percent last year.

Analysts attributed the rise to the strong growth in budget carriers such as Vietjet and Jetstar Pacific.

The two no-frills carriers now fly on 50 domestic routes and to 17 airports around the country.

But they have also intensified investment in flying to international destinations.

Jetstar Pacific and Vietjet fly to places like Hongkong, Guangzhou, Taipei, Siem Reap, Seoul, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, last year there were a record number of around 10 million international tourists, a year-on-year increase of 25 percent.

The tourism industry also served 62 million domestic tourists and earned revenues of 400 trillion VND (17.8 billion USD).

The co-operation between budget airlines and tourism companies in setting up attractive tours at reasonable costs has contributed to growing tourism.

The industry has set a target of 11.5 million international and 66 million domestic tourists this year and revenues of 460 trillion VND.

The tourism industry’s ambitious goals suggest that the Vietnamese aviation industry would continue to have the opportunity to grow.

The country has been identified as one of seven fastest growing airline markets in the world.-VNA