Jetstar Pacific launches Dong Hoi-Chiang Mai service

At a tele-conference in Hanoi on October 10, the organising board of General Giap's funeral said it will create the best possible conditions for people to pay their last respects to the legendary general. According to plan, the funeral service will begin at the national funeral house at 07.30am on October 12 and may last till 21.00pm the same day. The memorial service will be held at around 08.00am the following morning. A motorcade carrying General Giap’s coffin will leave the national funeral house shortly after the memorial service ends. The convoy will travel through major streets in Hanoi, including the General’s house on Hoang Dieu Street, before heading for Noi Bai International Airport. An ATR72 plane will transport the coffin from Noi Bai to Dong Hoi airport where another motorcade is ready to drive the coffin to Yen island in Quang Dong commune, Quang Trach district, Quang Binh province. General Giap will rest in peace in Quang Binh province – his home town. An Airbus A321 plane will transport the organising board of the funeral, General Giap’s family and other guests to Quang Binh for the burial ceremony. A gun carriage will carry General Giap’s coffin to his resting place on Yen island, Quang Binh province A funeral rehearsal was conducted in Hanoi on October 10 by the Ministry of National Defence. Together with hundreds of domestic reporters, 60 foreign correspondents have registered to give wide coverage of the event. Twenty Vietnamese nationals residing overseas will pay last tribute…... [read more]

The same day, the national flag carrier, Vietnam Airline, launched a new air route between Dong Hoi and Hanoi. The upgrade of Dong Hoi airport is part of an overall zoning plan for national civil airport network which has been approved by the Government. The airport, which used to be a military airport during the Vietnam War against US aggressors, has been upgraded to service domestic flights lines linking Quang Binh to key economic and political centres in the central region and the whole country. The 4,250-sq.m terminal is expected to receive A321s and accommodate 300 passengers at peak hours. Vietnam Airlines plans to launch three flights a week on this new air route.... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) - Tourism enterprises, experts and managers on November 17 discussed ways to promote tourism in the north central region after the massive fish death crisis that hit the coastal areas in April. The conference attracted representatives from Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces. Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), officially launched a campaign to revive the tourism industry, which suffered serious loss recently. “The environmental trouble caused major losses for the local economy, including tourism,” he said. “People are still afraid of travelling to the central region, as they doubt the safety of seafood and water. Many popular tours have been cancelled.” By the end of this month, the VNAT will organise two familiarisation trips for the media and travel agents from Hanoi and HCM City to the north central region to promote tourism products. Next month, the VNAT will hold a road-show in Bangkok and Udonthani (Thailand) to introduce the region to the Thai market, which is close and accessible for overland travel. Le Tran Sang, Vice Director of the Ha Tinh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, suggested that apart from beach tourism, the northcentral region can lure tourists with cultural and spiritual products. “Ha Tinh will promote tours to historical relics, pagodas and ecological sites in the near future,” he said. “While we overcome the environmental disaster, we can also still promote local tourism with the rich and diverse traditional culture and…... [read more]

Vietnam advised to build strong airport hubs for future growth By Mong Binh - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has emphasized the need for Vietnam to build strong airport hubs in preparation for higher inbound and outbound air traffic growth in the coming years. Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive officer of IATA, made the suggestion after learning about Vietnam's plans to pour huge investments into airport upgrade and development during his first three-day trip to Vietnam. Vietnam has planned VND220 trillion, or more than US$13 billion, for upgrading and building 26 airports, including 10 international airports in the years to come. This year, the Government has approved some master plans for improving airport infrastructure to support strong growth of Vietnam's aviation sector and economy, as well as make this country a destination for international tourists and business people. Major investments include a plan approved in May to develop Noi Bai Airport at a cost of over VND13 trillion between now and 2020, and more than VND43 trillion for developments after that year, a plan to expand Tan Son Nhat Airport to enable the airport to welcome 15-17 million passengers by 2010, or at least four million higher than the number last year. The Government has also approved plans to modernize Danang, Chu Lai and Dong Hoi airports in central Vietnam. Nearly VND4.5 trillion (some US$272 million) is being spent building a new terminal at Danang International Airport, and expanding the parking…... [read more]

Airfares poised to go up towards year-end The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - Industry insiders have said airlines will end up adjusting up their airfares next month after the Ministry of Finance approved higher service fees at airports. The ministry has issued a decision approving service charges to rise by VND10,000 per passenger to VND70,000 per person on domestic flights at Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Danang, Cam Ranh, Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Cat Bi airports, and to VND60,000 per passenger at Phu Cat, Ca Mau, Buon Ma Thuot, Lien Khuong, Tuy Hoa and Dong Hoi airports. As for international flights, the service charges remain unchanged at US$8-20 a passenger but US$25 will be collected at Noi Bai International Airport’s new terminal T2 and will be put into use next year, according to Vietnam News Agency. In terms of charges for security screening, airports will collect fees on a per-guest rather than per-flight basis. Each passenger on domestic and international flights will pay VND10,000 and US$1.5 respectively. Charges for goods screening will be revised up by 10% compared to the current VND140,000 a ton for domestic flights and US$15 a ton for international flights. Passengers now have to pay VND110,000-120,000 for charges that are priced into air-tickets. These fees include some VND50,000 for ticket issue and 10% value-added tax. Airlines said the service fee increases will affect passengers and be added to the air-tickets that they purchase. Later, carriers will transfer these fees to airports where they operate. The…... [read more]

Jetstar launches four new routes before Tet Le Anh By Le Anh - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - Jetstar Pacific has announced the launch of four new air routes connecting HCMC and the central and northern regions ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) to meet surging air travel demand. Jetstar Pacific kicked off HCMC-Dong Hoi and HCMC-Quy Nhon services on Sunday, Buon Ma Thuot-Haiphong route on Monday and Thanh Hoa-Buon Ma Thuot route on February 3. Initially, Jetstar Pacific has three weekly flights between HCMC and Dong Hoi on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, and flies daily on the HCMC-Quy Nhon run. The airline will increase the number of flights when demand grows. Le Hong Ha, chief executive officer of Jetstar Pacific, said more than 15,000 passengers have booked seats on the airline’s flights from HCMC to the central cities of Dong Hoi and Quy Nhon. These are the first two air routes in Jetstar Pacific’s plan to connect different airports in Vietnam in the early months of this year. The carrier conducts three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays on the Buon Ma Thuot-Haiphong route. Meanwhile, the airline will fly between Thanh Hoa and Buon Ma Thuot on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The airline will open the HCMC-Tuy Hoa route on March 30 with flights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Jetstar Pacific currently operates domestic flights linking HCMC, Hanoi, Danang, Hue, Vinh, Thanh Hoa, Haiphong, Buon Ma Thuot, Dong Hoi, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon and Phu Quoc…... [read more]

(VOVworld) - A group of foreign ambassadors to Vietnam, a UNESCO representative, and the US Assistant Secretary of State have arrived in Quang Binh for an adventure in Son Doong, the world’s biggest natural cave. The diplomats are from Argentina, Sweden, Italy, the UK, Australia, and Czech. Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander said it will be a fantastic experience to explore Son Doong and she was impressed by the local conservation of the heritage. Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Hugh Borrowman said conquering the world’s largest cave will be among one of the most memorable activities during his tenure in Vietnam. He appreciated the natural scene, local tourist organization, and friendly people. Quang Binh has become more attractive to Vietnamese and foreign tourists thanks to its world natural heritage site Phong Nha - Ke Bang, particularly Son Doong cave located within the area.... [read more]

Landing at Dong Hoi airport after an hours flight from Hanoi, my group and I were taken to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park by bus, arranged by Annam Travel. As we drove towards the park, I marveled at the beauty of the vibrant green fields stretching for miles on either side of the road. Among the fields small boys rode playfully on the backs of water buffalos, creatures who are often a famer’s most valuable asset and are usually treated like family members. At the par gate, our tour guide Yen Nguyen presented us with a schedule which include walking through the primary forest, exploring Dark Cave, taking a mud bath and kayaking. "Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park contains the oldest karst moutains in Asia, formed about 400 million years ago." She told us, adding that the area is riddle with hundreds of cave systems and spectacular underground rivers. Phong Nha Cave The first destination was Phong Nha cave, which is over 7km in length. As we enjoyed cruising down the river and into the cave, Trang told us that thanks to improvements in the cave’s lighting system, the underground river now appears more beautiful than before. Entering Phong Nha cave was like stepping into another world-a world that only appears in fairy tales. The cave is a miracle of nature, with layers of beautiful stalactites and coloured rock. According to our tour guide, Phong Nha cave was formed by tectonic movements in the heart of the region…... [read more]

Dozens of flights from and to airports in northern and central Vietnam have been affected by hazy climate in recent times, according to local air firms. Many flights arriving at and departing from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Saturday morning were delayed or had their routes re-directed due to thick fog, local air firms said. It was not until 9:00 am that weather conditions turned better, but negative influences from such conditions were undeniable, local carriers said. Canceling and delaying flights not only affect passengers but also inflict severe damage on an air firm’s business, a spokesperson of an aviation company said. Although the firm is required to pay no reimbursement to customers for delaying or canceling flights due to bad weather, it has to pay such compensation for any delayed flight that follows, the spokesperson added. Vietjet, a Vietnamese budget airline, said that seven of its flights at the airport had their departure time delayed for one hour on average, rendering 26 connection flights to fall behind schedule. National carrier Vietnam Airlines also admitted that it had altered flight routes and schedules for over 40 flights from and to the airport for safety purposes. Three of the flights from London, Paris, and Frankfurt were diverted to touch down at Da Nang International Airport in the central city of Da Nang instead of Noi Bai as scheduled, the airline announced. Pham Viet Dung, director of Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation, said that thick fog hazing the airport significantly…... [read more]

An undated photo of an aircraft at Phu Quoc Airport. Photo credit: Saigon Times Online Two provinces in central Vietnam are growing impatient and have decided to press the Ministry of Transport to speed up the development of their airport projects. News website Dau Tu reported on Friday that Dak Nong's government has recently sent a letter to the ministry, requesting it to start drafting a plan to build an airport for middle and small aircraft, including helicopters, in Nhan Co Commune. The plan should be finished by this June 30 so the airport can be ready in 2020, the province said in the letter, its second this year. Dak Nong expects Nhan Co airport to be a boost for investment, especially for its backbone sector of aluminum production, according to the news website. Meanwhile, Quang Tri has also asked the transport ministry to approve a plan to build a domestic airport, so it can move forward with the next steps, Dau Tu reported. According to the plan submitted in 2012, the 311-hectare airport will cost VND374 billion (US$16.55 million). It will be located in the middle of Quang Binh Province's Dong Hoi Airport and Thua Thien-Hue Province's Phu Bai Airport, and about 90 kilometers away from either of them. Funding snag The requests come as the government is having difficulties finding money for transport infrastructure projects and most existing airports are operating at a loss. Vietnam is now home to 22 airports, of which only Tan Son Nhat and…... [read more]

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