Thursday - 07th, Dec 2023 13:52:09 PM (Vietnam Time)
-Vietnam Visa Embassy

Phu Quoc yet to attract scheduled int’t flights

The authorities of Phu Quoc International Airport and the resort island of Phu Quoc have been unable to persuade airlines to operate scheduled international flights to this tourist destination although the modern airport has been in service for more than one year.

Phu Quoc, international flights, VietJetAir

Foreign travelers leave the terminal of Phu Quoc International Airport. A 30-day visa-free stay applies to foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports on Phu Quoc Island from this week.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) said the airport had attracted a number of chartered flights but no international airline had submitted a plan to launch scheduled services to Phu Quoc off Kien Giang Province.

CAAV provided the fact for the Daily on March 11, or one day after the Prime Minister’s decision on visa exemption for foreigners and Vietnamese nationals holding foreign passports when they stay less than 30 days on Phu Quoc.

The decision also clarifies those foreigners entering Vietnam via either an international airport or an international port and then come to Phu Quoc are entitled to the visa exemption policy.

The new decision, which was signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, doubles the visa-free stay for foreign visitors. The new policy is expected to give a boon for tourism development on Phu Quoc and help this biggest island of Vietnam attract more international travelers and make full use of infrastructure projects that have been developed there.

Incentives on fees among others have been pledged for operators of international flights. However, representatives of travel agencies and experts have asked Phu Quoc to offer many more than just the visa exemption, fee reduction at the airport and its attractions only.

The island needs to have more international-standard hotel rooms and manage to lower service fees if it wants to attract a large enough number of travelers for airlines to launch frequent flights to and from the island.

The international airport was classified as an important project that helps Phu Quoc become an international destination for tourists. It came online in December 2012 with a total investment of VND3 trillion (over US$142 million).

The airport has a runway of 3,000 meters in length and 45 meters in width able to handle modern aircraft, including Boeing B777s and B747s and Airbus A380s. Its terminal will be able to receive 2.65 million passengers a year by 2020 and seven million passengers annually after 2030.

Currently, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and VietJetAir conduct daily domestic flights to and from the airport. Jetstar Pacific told the Daily on March 11 that its flights between HCMC and the island always registered high seating occupancy.

Last year saw Phu Quoc welcome more than 500,000 travelers and the annual target is two to three million visitors to the island in the coming 10 years.

More than 3.8 million people visited Kien Giang last year. The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism estimated this Mekong Delta province would attract more than four million travelers this year, including 185,000 international visitors.

Source: SGT