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Ground broken on second terminal at airport in Vietnam capital

A second terminal for Vietnam’s Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi is underway with a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday. The project is estimated to cost VND 5 trillion or US$196.5 million, will cover 6 hectares, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2025.

For context, at the end of last year, the President of Vietnam Airlines noted that overcrowding at Vietnam’s airports was costing the national carrier US$20 million a year. Indeed, overcrowding has become a huge problem–Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City was built for 28 million visitors a year but welcomed 34 million arrivals in 2022. Similarly, Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport was built for 25 million visitors a year but was expected to finish 2023 with 30 million arrivals.

That said, it’s not necessarily welcome news. Somewhat ironically, Vietnam Airlines, recently announced that it didn’t want to use the new airport in Ho Chi Minh City due to the increased costs of running two grounds crews and the longer time it will take to travel from international arrivals to domestic departures and vice-versa.

More broadly, Vietnam’s domestic airline industry has taken a series of hits over the last five years that have seen two airlines on the cusp of disappearing altogether, and the national carrier at risk of being delisted from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange. In this context, Vietnam Airlines is in somewhat of a conundrum–it needs new, bigger facilities but it doesn’t want to contribute to the cost.

See also: Vietnam’s Airline Industry Turbulence: Unpacked

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