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Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Phu Quoc island in spotlight amid search operations

Published on Mar 11, 2014 10:59 PM
 
Ships docked at the naval base in Phu Quoc island in southern Vietnam on March 11, 2014. Phu Quoc island is Vietnam's next big tourism hope. Its spanking new international airport opened two years ago and its roads are being transformed from dirt to tar. But it has been thrust into the international limelight as the Vietnamese authorities coordinate their rescue efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight from the island. -- ST PHOTO: TAN HUI YEE

PHU Quoc island is Vietnam's next big tourism hope. Its spanking new international airport opened two years ago and its roads are being transformed from dirt to tar.

Earlier this month, the government even granted a 30-day visa exemption for foreign visitors to this island.

However, the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370 has thrust the island into international limelight quicker than imagined, as the Vietnamese authorities coordinate their search efforts from here.

Every day, helicopters scouring the seas for the missing jetliner take off and land from Phu Quoc International Airport's newly upgraded runway, while its air traffic control centre serves as a makeshift news centre for hordes of Vietnamese, Chinese as well as Malaysian reporters.

 
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