The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) handles civil aviation and is under direct authority of the government. There are 135 airports/airstrips for civil, military and police use in the country. The CAAV is responsible for 18 airports and air navigation services.
The airports in the north, central and south handled 1.7 million, 0.8 million and 3.1 million passengers in 1998, respectively, which have been increasing rapidly to 2.5 million, 1.2 million and 5.1 million in 2002, respectively. Vietnam operates 24 civil airports, including three international gateways: Noi Bai serving Hanoi, Danang serving Danang City, and Tan Son Nhat serving Ho Chi Minh City.
Tan Son Nhat is the largest, handling 75 percent of international passenger traffic. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline, has a fleet of 30 aircraft that link Vietnam with 19 foreign cities. In 2004 Vietnam Airlines had 5 million passengers, up 25 percent from the prior year, and management expects the number of passengers to reach 12 million by 2010.
In November 2004, Vietnam Airlines announced that it would purchase 10 Airbus A321–200 aircraft and continue negotiations for four Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft. Vietnam Airlines’ goal is to expand its fleet to 73 aircraft by 2010.
Beginning in 2006, Vietnam Airlines will cooperate with American Airlines in international flights under a codeshare agreement. Vietnam Airlines’ code will apply to American Airlines flights from the United States to Vietnam, Japan, and Europe. American Airlines’ code will apply to Vietnam Airlines flights from Vietnam to Japan and Europe.
Vietnam inland water ways:
Vietnam has 41,000 km of natural waterways, of which 8,000 km are used commercially. Of these, the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration manages about 6000 km as well as the main river ports; local governments manage the balance of the commercial waterways.
River boats and barges have rapidly developed. In 1999, there were 63,600 units with a capacity of 1.7 million dead weight tons and 197,000 passenger seats. In 2003 this had increased to 83,000 boats with a capacity of 3.7 million dead weight tons and 280,000 passenger seats. In addition there are tens of thousands of small “country” boats and ferry boats.
Despite limited investment, the waterways remain attractive for the transport of coal, rice, sand, stone, gravel, and other usually high weight low value goods; and livelihoods and personal transport depend heavily and successfully on waterway transport in the delta regions of the Mekong and Red River.
The inland waterway system is managed by nine state waterway management companies; and river ports are managed by three port authorities. Inland waterway transport services are provided by state-owned enterprises operating under two state corporations attached to the Ministry of Transport Northern Waterway Transport Corporation and Southern Waterway Transport Corporation, specialized state-owned transport companies under other ministries carrying materials to cement plants, paper mills and construction material enterprises, and private for-hire operators.
Private operators have expanded their market share significantly in recent years. Foreign companies can provide transport services on the waterways through joint ventures in which the foreigner’s share does not exceed 49 percent. Freight and passenger transport rates are freely determined by negotiation
Vietnam visa and passport
There are no ‘suspect’ stamps that will prevent foreigners from visiting Vietnam, but some Vietnamese who live overseas may be given a harder time by immigration and customs than non-Vietnamese visitors. Arranging a visa remains essential before arrival in Vietnam, but these are easy to obtain from embassies worldwide or through Vietnamese travel agents in advance.
Book Vietnam visa on arrival: http://visastovietnam.com
Vietnam Airline Tickets:
Book ticket with our service: Vietnam airline booking
Shop around and it is possible to find a good deal to Vietnam. If there are no obvious bargains to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, then consider buying a discounted ticket to Bangkok or Hong Kong and picking up a flight or travelling overland from Thailand on to Vietnam.
Discounted flights are available into Vietnam, but Vietnam Airlines will not allow foreign carriers to sell cheap outbound tickets from Vietnam. A ticket from Bangkok to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city costs almost half the price of a Vietnam Airlines’ flight, if it’s purchased in Bangkok. This also means that for anyone planning to purchase a long-haul flight in the region, Vietnam is not the place to do it with Bangkok just a short hop away.
It’s hard to get reservations for flights to from Vietnam during holidays, especially Tet, which falls between late January and mid-February. If you will be in Vietnam during Tet, make reservations well in advance or you may find yourself marooned in a regional airport along the way. The chaos begins a week before Tet and can last for about two weeks after it.
Be aware that Vietnam is not the only country to celebrate the Lunar New Year, as it falls at the same time as Chinese New Year. Many people hit the road at this time, resulting in overbooked airlines trains and hotels all over Asia.