Vinh International Airport (VII) is a French colonial airfield turned major north Vietnam airport turned aspirational international airport. It’s constantly updated to match modern trends but as of yet still not really fulfilling its potential.
Like other regional airports near major international terminals, the airport might have all the makings of greatness but still hasn’t really been taken up by foreign airlines.
History of VII
Built way back in 1937 by the colonial French, the airfield was envisioned as a regional landing site for trade and commercial ventures but would only see military forces use for much of its life. In 1994, the Vietnam government realized that with some minor upgrades, commercial aircraft would be capable of landing. Small domestic services slowly grew the airport’s popularity and in 2003 a major investment upgrade saw the runway extended for small international jet services (the likes of a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 for example). A new domestic terminal was built in 2014 with the older building being turned into an international terminal.
Airlines at VII
However, despite the renovation of the old international terminal building in 2019, airlines have not been able to link it to international routes. Vietjet and travel agent Vietravel did try with their own routes but have since scaled back to only domestic operations.
Today, the airport is only operating at about 50% of its three million passengers per year, with flights to Hanoi (which is a surprise as its only half a day away by bus), Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Nha Trang, and a few others. It’s notably missing a service to Da Nang at this time.
It’s served by the four local carriers:
- Vietnam Airlines
- Jetstar Pacific
- Bamboo Airways
Ironically, they are all Airbus carriers so you are likely to fly on the same plane if you fly in and out of this airport.
Terminal at VII
As there are few flights, you’ll feel like you have the big empty terminal all to yourself. The 2014 building is fully air conditioned and there is free fast WIFI throughout. However, there is no money changer and not really many food options (only a small cafe that serves/sells processed products and noodles). That being said, because the security line and check-in desks are so fast, you shouldn’t be spending much time here at all and if not delayed, in and out as quickly as possible.
Transportation at VII
Unlike other airports, there are not many choices in transport to get to Vinh city about 6-7 km away (4.34 miles).
As such as a taxi won’t break the bank at around 60,000 Dong (~$2.60 USD). The taxies, unfortunately, are known at this airport to be very ‘imaginative’ with their prices and thus you should agree on the price before getting in, or insist on the meter. Looking online there are stories of taxis charging up to 960,000 Dong (~$41 USD) for a 10-minute trip!
There are also grab bikes that can be hired on the grab app, however they must be taken from outside the airport.
Address: Nghi Liên, Thành phố Vinh, Nghe An
Elevation: 6 m
Phone: 0238 3851 476
Province: Nghe An