Van Don International Airport is scheduled to officially become operational in late December (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh (VNA) – The northeastern province of Quang Ninh is considering reduction in transportation costs for buses from Van Don International Airport to the centre of Ha Long city.

Tourism fees at Ha Long Bay and the Yen Tu relict site are also expected to be cut in order to raise the number of passengers travelling through Van Don International Airport, according to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long.

Local departments and agencies are working on the plan to submit it to the provincial People’s Council for approval, he said, adding that the plan should not affect the State Budget Law.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget carrier Vietjet Air have proposed launching flights to Van Don International Airport, which is scheduled to open in late December.  

Vietnam Airlines commits to accompanying the project’s investor - SunGroup and Quang Ninh province to launch flights to the airport on the opening day, the carrier’s General Director Duong Tri Thanh said, adding that the airline will offer a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Van Don each day.

Vietjet Air General Director Luu Duc Khanh said apart from traditional routes, the carrier always wants to expand the market.

The two carriers have also called on Quang Ninh to reduce airport charges and create favourable conditions for them to set up their representative offices in the locality.

Construction on Van Don International Airport, the first of its kind in Vietnam invested by a private investor – SunGroup, started in 2015 with total investment of 7.5 trillion VND (330 million USD).

Covering 288ha, the airport accommodates support facilities, a two-module terminal and functional areas. A cargo terminal is expected to be built by 2030 with a capacity of at least 51,000 tonnes. 

Under a March decision by the Ministry of Transport, Van Don will be an international airport, serving both civilian and military flights with a 3.6km-long runway. The airport will have an annual capacity of 2-2.5 million passengers by 2020, which will increase to 5 million by 2030. 

As Van Don district is among the three special economic zones planned in the country, the airport is expected to boost the local economy, including tourism at Ha Long Bay.

The airport is located roughly 50km northeast of UNESCO-recognised Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province.-VNA