Vietnam’s Cam Ranh International Airport has started plans to expand a new infrastructure as it catches up with double-digital growths.

Designed to handle 4 million passengers, the airport’s new international Terminal 2 opened in August 2018. However, international passenger arrivals for 2018 reached 5.2 million a year-on-year (YOY) growth of 42%. Total passenger arrivals for Vietnam’s fourth largest airport hit 8.2 million, up 28% YOY.

According to Cam Ranh airport COO Sulaiman Zainul Abidin, the scope of expansion includes doubling check-in counters, and adding two aerobridges and eight more parking slots. He said that because the airport is privately run, the board is able to react very fast to the surge in passengers, and the decision to invest and expand was made very quickly. 

Currently, Russia, China, Korea and Japan form the largest demographics and connections to these countries are growing.

“We have added flights from Korea’s T’way Air and Eastar Jet from Incheon this year, as well as Jin Air from July. We also hoping to add new connections in Korea such as Daegu and Busan this year as well,” he said. “However, we also are reaching out to the rest of Southeast Asia. We finally got our first Bangkok connection in January with Bangkok Air and Thai AirAsia will follow soon. Talks are underway with Jetstar Asia to fly from Singapore as well.”

Sulaiman said many full-service carriers are hoping to fly to Cam Ranh regularly, but the lack of traffic rights prevents these airlines from doing so. Instead, they have launched “scheduled chartered” flights to overcome the issue.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com