Phu Bai International Airport (HUI) is located on the stunning Vietnam coastline just south of the former capital of Hue. However, unlike other coastal airports like Nha Trang and Da Nang, this airport has not seen the result of government funding yet and is very much overcapacity.
History of HUI
The Vietnam government has fast-tracked this airport for development and even shut down the airport for a few months to build new facilities without pesky aircraft buzzing overhead. All passengers had to go to nearby Da Nang International Airport but fortunately, the airport has since reopened for business with a new short runway (only 2,500 meters). The airport management has been taken over by the famous Singapore firm, Changi Airports International who are building a new five million passenger terminal on the grounds.
However, if you arrive at Phu Bai before 2025 you are arriving at a very much ‘work in progress’ airport. Unlike many of the other recently upgraded international airports in Vietnam, Phy Bai has yet to receive the benefits of a modern terminal and spacious facilities. As such expect the airport to be crowded, hot, expensive and limited airport options.
Airlines at HUI
There are only four destinations to and from Phu Bai, all domestic. Flights to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Lat and oddly a small flight to Da Nang. Regular services are offered by:
- Bamboo Airways
- Vietnam Airlines
- Jetstar Pacific
- Small flight to Da Nang by Hai Au Aviation
Terminal at HUI
The airport only has three gates and one departure lounge. If a flight is delayed, you may remain in the lounge for hours waiting for your next flight. This can mean up to 3-5 flights worth of people sitting in a hot room with a capacity of only 500 or so people. That being said, if you have no delays you can walk quickly through security and board your plane rapidly, so there isn’t really any excuse to wait around at the airport if you have plenty of notice of your delay.
Another point to note is that the airport actually closes at nighttime after the last flight departs and thus you don’t want to be caught coming here with an intention to sleep overnight.
Transportation at HUI
The airport is close to Hue’s city center at around 25 minutes away by taxi (18 km away or 11 miles). Taxis are around 250,000 Dong (~$10.80 USD) but you can negotiate or prebook a taxi for as low as 170,000 Dong (~$7.30).
There are also two local buses that travel through the cities to the northern and southern bus stations respectively. Bus no. 2 heads to both via Phu Thu, and costs around 5,000 Dong (~$0.20 USD) and Bus no. 11 heads just to the Northern bus station and Vinh Hien for 7,000 Dong (~$0.30).
Phu Bai is a bit of an odd airport. It does not provide any international services currently and is not as good as nearby Da Nang Airport. Only consider this airport if you want to visit Hue or the nearby area, or have an incredible deal on a flight, otherwise opt for the bigger Da Nang instead.
Address: Khu 8, Hương Thủy, Thua Thien Hue
Elevation: 15 m
Phone: 0234 3861 131
Province: Thua Thien Hue