Making news

HCM City airport prepares for peak season during Tet holiday

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City has added flights and check-in counters to serve the increasing number of passengers during the peak Tet holiday season (Lunar New Year), which begins on February 5 this year.

The flight frequency of local carriers is expected to rise by 8-10 per cent between January 20 and February 19 compared to the holiday period last year, with at least 800 daily flights on average, according to a representative of Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

There will be between 806 and 820 flights per day planned for the holiday period, up by 70 flights from the peak Tet period last year.

Some 900 flights are expected to depart from and arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport on February 2 and about 890 flights on February 10.

Three domestic carriers, Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, are adding around 4,000 extra flights.

From November 25 to February 15, Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier, will add an additional 1,956 flights with an expected 560,000 domestic passengers.

Low-cost carrier Vietjet will have an additional 1,000 flights, up 20 per cent from off-peak season, while Jetstar will add 1,014 flights.

To meet passenger demand, the airport will lengthen baggage conveyor belts and add another 10 check-in counters at the domestic terminal.

From January 26 to February 12, members of the youth unions of Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Vietnam Aviation Academy will work as volunteers to help passengers with procedures and luggage during peak times.

In addition, the airport has added 800 waiting chairs for passengers at domestic and international gates.

During peak travel times, some stores in the airport will temporarily shut down to make room for the rising number of passengers.

The airport will also suspend repair and maintenance work at the facility 15 days prior to and 10 days after the holiday.

The airport has bought back-up equipment for the technical system and replaced broken devices, and has completed routine maintenance of the flight information display system, air conditioners and security cameras.

Staff in customer service, public security, security screening and check-in might be mobilised from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (where there is less overloaded work than at Tan Son Nhat) to serve the peak travel season, if necessary.

Passengers should arrive at the airport two hours prior to their departure time for domestic flights and three hours in advance for international flights, the airport has recommended.

To ease overcrowding in public areas in the airport, family members are advised not to accompany passengers to the airport to see them off and not arrive too early to pick them up.

According to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the airport will open an additional 37 aprons and one taxiway before Tet, raising the total number to 83, helping reduce traffic congestion.

Tan Son Nhat is expected to handle more than four million passengers in the month during Tet.

According to the Customs Bureau at Tan Son Nhat airport, the airport will serve an average of 134,200 passengers a day during the holiday.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the country’s busiest airport, has become seriously overloaded both on the ground and in the air, forcing many flights to wait in the air to land.

The airport has a design capacity of 25 million passengers, but the passenger throughput in 2016 was 32 million and in 2017 more than 36 million.