Monday, 04/12/2023 11:52

Điện Biên Airport reopens after 8 months of upgrades


Attending the opening of the upgraded Điện Biên Airport were Nguyễn Ngọc Canh, Vice Chairman of the State Capital Management Committee (left), Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thắng (second from left), Ambassador of Australia to Viet Nam Andrew Goledzinowski (third from left) as well as other officials. Photo courtesy of Embassy of Australia to Việt Nam

HÀ NỘI — Điện Biên Airport in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên reopened on December 2, and welcomed its first two commercial flights after being closed for eight months due to major expansion and upgrade projects. 

Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air inaugurated the newly renovated airport with flights from Hà Nội and HCM City. Upon arrival, the planes were greeted with a celebratory water cannon salute.

The VNĐ1.4 trillion ($57.6 million) renovation project began in January 2022 in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Điện Biên Phủ victory. The upgrades focused on accommodating larger aircraft, expanding passenger capacity, and enhancing the experience for travellers. 

This included building a new 2,400m runway able to handle the larger A320 and A321 aircraft, renovating the existing terminal to handle 500,000 travellers per year, along with other refurbishments to the terminal and facilities.

Onboard the Vietnam Airlines flight from Hà Nội, Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thắng was joined by Nguyễn Ngọc Cảnh, Vice Chairman of the State Capital Management Committee, and Ambassador of Australia to Việt Nam Nam Andrew Goledzinowski, along with other senior officials.

Minister Thắng, who opened the airport, was formerly the Party Secretary of Điện Biên Province when the project was started.

Speaking about the new airport, Goledzinowski said: “I believe the new airport in Điện Biên and the jet travel it enables will encourage more travellers to visit this remarkable province.”

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the ambassador praised the rich culture, cuisine and natural beauty of Điện Biên Province.

Local government officials said the renovated airport would be a boon for tourism and economic growth in the mountainous northwestern region. They expect an influx of new businesses in hospitality, trade, and services highlighting the cultural heritage of local ethnic minority groups. The airport's proximity to the Điện Biên Phủ Battlefield Relics Complex is also expected to attract more visitors.  

Vietnam Airlines will now operate seven flights per week between Hà Nội and Điện Biên. Vietjet Air will run three weekly flights on the HCM City-Điện Biên route on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. — VNS

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