THE Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR), the newest airport in Vietnam, is eyeing to open direct flights to Cebu and is open to hiring Filipinos to help in their expansion.
Johnathan Hanh Nguyen, chairman of CXR, in a press conference at the sidelines of the Routes Asia 2019 conference, said Vietnam and the Philippines should grow together in terms of tourism.
“Vietnam’s policy has opened up for the tourists like the giving of visa online and upon arrival. I feel comfortable growing 10 million passengers in our airport for the next few years, so I believe we can have some kind of cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
CXR, which serves the city of Nha Trang in the south of Vietnam, will be expanding to accommodate 10 million to 20 million passengers in the next five years.
This includes plans to open four weekly flights direct to Cebu.
Currently, CXR has 25,000 employees and Nguyen said that it will grow to 30,000 in two years’ time.
“We welcome Filipinos (to apply at CXR) because they speak English,” he said.
He said that with the current flight route setup, Cebuano travelers need to take three connecting flights to get to Cam Rahn City via plane.
The first is a domestic flight from Cebu to Manila, then another flight from Manila to another city like Ho Chi Minh.
From that point, a third flight is needed to get to Cam Rahn, which is costly.
“It’s a waste of time,” he said.
He pointed out that if both Vietnam and the country’s tourism departments will collaborate to offer direct flights, it would cut the air travel time by up to two and a half hours.
CXR has been operational for almost a year and has a passenger traffic of 5.2 million arrivals, the bulk of which are international passengers. It serves as a gateway to the south central coast of Vietnam and has the fourth largest total passenger traffic among Vietnam’s airports.
Nguyen attributed this to Cam Rahn’s beaches that attract more tourists from other nationalities.
Their top markets include China, Russia, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Philippine Stock Exchange president Ramon Monzon said both economies of the Philippines and Vietnam will benefit once a new route is established, as it will bring in more investors. (JOB WITH PR)