The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has recorded average growth of 14-15 percent per year over the past decade, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

In the first six months of this year, Vietnam Airlines operated 119,200 flights with 24.7 million passengers and 448,100 tonnes of cargo, an increase of 10.6 percent, 15 percent and 22 percent compared to the same period last year.

Vietnam Airlines has not only met transport needs but also made significant contributions to socio-economic development, especially in the tourism sector.

Vietnamese airports have served a continuously growing number of passengers over the past decade. In 2003, Vietnam Airlines and foreign carriers transported 2.85 million passengers while total arrivals increased to 12.85 million passengers in 2013. During the 2003-2013 period, Vietnam Airlines reached a yearly growth of 16.3 percent and 18.4 percent for passenger and goods transport, respectively.

According to a master plan, by 2020, total number of international and domestic passengers via Vietnamese airports would reach 28.2-31.5 million and 38.4-42.3 million and cargo transport would stand at 434,000-489,000 tonnes.

In December this year, Noi Bai International Airport is expected to put the Terminal 2 into operation with a designed capacity of 10 million passengers per year.

The new terminal has four floors with a surface area of about 139,000sq.m and is equipped with machinery and advanced aviation technology. In addition, a new cargo terminal is also under construction with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year and is expected to be put into operation by early 2015.

To raise extra capital for operation, Vietnam Airlines is preparing for equitisation which aims at improving the quality of transport services, ensuring highly competitive environment and consumer interests.

In terms of international transport, Vietnam Airlines will continue to consolidate and develop bilateral air transport in traditional markets such as Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia; open routes to the US and Canada; and promote aviation ties with South Asia, Africa, South America and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In terms of domestic transport, Vietnam Airlines will focus on the Hanoi-Da Nang-Ho Chi Minh City routes and form a network of private cargo routes.-VNA