The flight carried a total of 274 passengers, including officials from Hokkaido and Japanese business people.

They traveled to Quang Ninh Province, where popular tourist site Ha Long Bay is located, to join the ongoing Hokkaido Festival.

The four-day fest, which is set to wrap up on Sunday, is meant to celebrate 50 years of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties.

The trip to Quang Ninh by the delegation of Japanese officials led by Governor of Hokkaido Suzuki Naomichi is intended to boost the multifaceted cooperation between the two localities.

A recent survey on favored tourist destinations showed that Japanese tourists were keen on exploring the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay and numerous tourist attractions in Quang Ninh.

This is the first time Van Don International Airport has received a direct flight from Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: T. Duong / Tuoi Tre

This is the first time Van Don International Airport has received a direct flight from Hokkaido, Japan. Photo: T. Duong / Tuoi Tre

A representative from Van Don International Airport said that the management board of the port is working with airlines to launch charter flights from South Korea, China, and Japan to the province to promote regular international air services.

Since it was put into service five years ago, Van Don International Airport has handled a total of 6,131 flights, including 560 international services.

Some 755,000 air passengers have passed through the airport, with 80,000 international passengers.

Leaders of Quang Ninh Province and Hokkaido discuss plans to boost tourism cooperation and increase flights between the two localities. Photo: T. Duong / Tuoi Tre

Leaders of Quang Ninh Province and Hokkaido discuss plans to boost tourism cooperation and increase flights between the two localities. Photo: T. Duong / Tuoi Tre