The Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) hit a milestone last weekend as it welcomed the 100 millionth passenger arriving at its network of airport across the country this year. (Photo: nld.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) hit a milestone last weekend as it welcomed the 100 millionth passenger arriving at its network of airport across the country this year.

Bui Ngoc Giang, the 100 millionth passenger and a Vietnamese national, arrived at Phu Quoc International Airport on Phu Quoc Island, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, last weekend after flying with Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi.

Giang was welcomed with flowers in a ceremony held by the ACV to also celebrate the completion of the expansion of the airport.

In 2016, the ACV began the expansion of Phu Quoc International Airport, which is among 22 airports the State-run firm operates nationwide. The project costed about one trillion VND (43 million USD).

The project expanded the area of the airport from about 24,300 sqm to more than 36,000 sqm and increased the number of boarding gates from four to 12, including eight for domestic flights and four for international flights. The airport is now also equipped with four new passenger boarding bridges.

The expansion allows the airport to raise its capacity from 2.65 million passengers to 4 million passengers per year and provide higher quality services and facilities.

Phu Quoc International Airport was put into operation in 2012. Currently, about 80 flights take off or land at the airport a day. During high travel season in summer and national holidays, the number can reach 100 as it connects visitors with one of Vietnam’s most popular destination – Phu Quoc Island.

Dubbed as the “pearl island,” Phu Quoc is endowed with beautiful beaches with white and golden sand and crystal-clear water, alongside pristine forests.

Since the island was connected to the national electrical grid and a visa waiver policy which gives foreigners a 30-day visa-free stay was adopted in 2014, foreigners have been flocking to the island.

According to figures from the local administration, last year the island received 1.96 million visitors, a 35 percent year-on-year increase, including more than 360,000 foreign visitors, up 72 percent.

In the first quarter of this year the number of visitors hit 760,000, a 37 percent rise over the same period last year. Foreign arrivals doubled to 286,000. –VNA