A runway at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport has been closed for eight months of repair, while Phu Bai Airport in Hue will be closed for runway work for the same amount of time, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) reported.
Accordingly, operations on Tan Son Nhat’s runway 25R/07L will halt from now until October 25. The suspension will reduce the number of flights handled by the airport from 32 per hour to 22 per hour.
The runway’s closure will force the re-arrangement of thousands of domestic flights but will not affect international flights, CAAV reported.
Local airliners have said they will have to re-schedule more than 1,100 flights on domestic routes, including those for tours over the summer.
Vietnam Airlines (VNA), the national carrier, said it will changes the schedules of nearly 1,000 domestic flights from February 25 to March 30.
These flights include those whose departure and destination hours fall in the following peak times: 9-11:59 am, 1-2:59 pm, and 4-6:59 pm on 12 routes between HCMC and Hanoi/Thanh Hoa/Vinh/Dong Hoi/Hue/Da Nang/Quy Nhon/Da Lat/Buon Ma Thuot/Pleiku/Nha Trang/Phu Quoc.
Along with changes to the flight schedules, the waiting-time for VNA planes to take off and land during the runway’s 8-month repair period will be longer. In general, planes will have to wait for 30-40 minutes instead of the current 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific said their flight schedules will be changed by five or 10 minutes, and that customers will be informed of changes both directly and on their websites.
CAAV also reported that Phu Bai Airport in the central city of Hue will shut down from midnight on March 20 to 11:59 pm November 20 for runway repairs.
In order to meet visitor demand in the absence of flights to the airport, the Thua Thien-Hue Province People’s Committee plans to use forty 29-seat, high quality buses to pick up passengers at Da Nang Airport and transport them to Hue for VND130,000 (US$6.2) per passenger.