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Cambodian ‘Ghost’ Plane Put Up for Auction in Vietnam

FILE - Ground staff check VietJet A320 airplane before departure for Bangkok, Noi Bai international airport, Hanoi, September 2013.

Vietnamese authorities are putting up for auction a Cambodian passenger jet that has been abandoned for years at Hanoi's Noi Bai international airport.

The plane, last flown from Siem Reap, Cambodia, to the Vietnamese capital, has been unclaimed since 2007.

Luu Van Doan, an official at the Civil Aviation Authorities of Vietnam, told VOA’s Vietnamese service the Boeing 727 was left at Noi Bai for technical reasons.

"We have informed Cambodian authorities of its existence and have put out information in the mass media, seeking the owner of the plane, but no one has come up to claim it."

The official said money earned from the auction would be used to cover unpaid airport parking fees of $600,000. It was not clear when the plane would be sold.

Vietnamese netizens have been quick to offer some recommendations for prospective buyers. The suggestion of turning the Boeing 727 into a coffeehouse has been widely applauded.

Online photos show a stained red and white plane, with a Cambodian flag and the name Air Dream, sitting in a corner of the airport.

In 2007, the now-defunct Air Dream airline operated its single aircraft, chartered from Royal Khmer Airlines, along the route from Siem Reap to Hanoi.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA Vietnamese service.