Airlines, travel firms in “passive voice” with Phu Bai airport maintenance plan

Published: 06/05/2011 05:00



The Middle
Airports Corporation (MAC) plans to temporarily close the Phu Bai International Airport
for one month in order to upgrade the only runway at the airport. The
maintenance plan has forced airlines and travel firms to contrive to provide

from air carriers told Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon on May 4, that during the runway
upgrading time, from May 13 to June 13, when the Phu Bai airport does not open,
the travelers to Hue city City will have to buy air tickets for the flights to Da
Nang City, and then to take train or coaches to Hue City.

firms are now busy re-designing tours and renting coaches to carry travelers to
the Da Nang Airport.

airlines and travel firms have complained that they cannot take initiative with
their business plans, because they were not informed about the airport
upgrading plan soon.

Airlines get confused

Though MAC
has decided that the Phu Bai airport will officially close from 0 am of May 13,
2011, Jetstar Pacific had to make an announcement that it will not provide the
flights between HCM
City and Phu Bai airport
from May 5 to June 13, 2011. The problem is that the airline cannot sell
tickets after booking agents and travelers heard about the Phu Bai airport
operation halt, from May 5.

In February
2011, MAC sent a notice to Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific, informing that
it planned to close Phu Bai from May 5 to June 5, stressing that it was just a
tentative plan and that MAC still needed to get approval from the Prime
Minister and Ministry of Transport for the plan.

understanding that this was not yet the official plan, air carriers had to
forward the information to travel firms and booking agents and had to stop
selling tickets for the flights to Hue
during that time.

two months after the tentative plan was released, the airport upgrading time
has been changed: the airport will be closed from May 13 to June 13, instead of
May 5.

The problem
is that before the final decision was made, both Jetstar Pacific and Vietnam
Airlines have halted selling tickets for the flights from May 5. However, after
having realized that the airport will only begin closing on May 13, Vietnam
Airlines has said it will continue providing flights from Hanoi
and HCM City
to Hue City until May 12.

all complain that as they are not informed the exact schedule, they cannot take
initiative with their business plans.

Travel firms facing big difficulties

airlines, travel firms said they have been surprised when hearing about the
airport closing from May 13. Some of the travel firms said they only got the
official information on April 13. Especially, most of the firms said they do
not get official information from the management agency of the Phu Bai airport,
and that they only got the information from newspapers and air ticket booking

“Two months
ago, I heard that Phu Bai would temporarily halt operation, therefore, I had to
change the itineraries of the tours. Instead of taking direct flights from HCM City to
Phu Bai, travelers will have to fly to Da
Nang,” said Nguyen Minh Quyen from Ben Thanh Tourist.
“Though the information I heard was unofficial at that time, I still needed to
take actions to keep our business smooth”.

Quyen said
travel firms should have been informed the exact schedule six months of one
year in advance, so that they can re-arrange their business plans. In general,
travel firms have to send tour programs to foreign partners one year before the
departure, therefore, it is now very difficult to change anything.

The thing
that travel firms have to do immediately, is to change air tickets for
travelers, because travelers will fly to Da
Nang instead of Phu Bai. As for the tours to be ended
in Hue City,
travel firms will have to rent coaches to carry travelers to Da Nang, which will cost travel firms 200,000
dong per traveler more.

Source: TBKTSG

Provide by Vietnam Travel

Airlines, travel firms in “passive voice” with Phu Bai airport maintenance plan - Travel - News |  vietnam travel company

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