Vietnam Airlines eyes Indochina hub

16 Sep 2011  2691 | World Travel News

Vietnam Airlines pledges to build Vietnam as a major gateway for travel to Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia under a Four Countries One Destination marketing programme.

The airline already flies to Yangon and Siem Reap from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but it has other destinations in the pipeline in this sub-region as well as plans to launch more long-haul non-stop services from source markets to the Vietnamese gateways.

The so-called 4 CODE is built around developing Vietnam as the gateway and Vietnam Airlines as the main carrier to link the four countries to source markets, worldwide.

It will require Vietnam’s national airline to create seamless flight connections to its three partner countries from long-haul services flying tourists to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Though 2014, Vietnam Airlines’ new routes in the region include services from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Mandalay; Hanoi-Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City-Vientiane. It will fly from Danang in the central part of the country too, but has yet to identify the destination; possibly Siem Reap.

More flights will also serve existing routes Hanoi-Siem Reap (three daily); Ho Chi Minh City- Siem Reap (two daily); Hanoi-Yangon (three to five flights a week); Ho Chi Minh City-Yangon (three weekly); Hanoi-Vientiane (daily) and Hanoi-Luang Prabang (five weekly).

As for long haul plans, the airline, will introduce four weekly flight from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to London’s Gatwick Airport, 8 December, while between 2013 and 2014, it expects to launch services to Amsterdam and Prague from Ho Chi Minh City. In the winter schedule of 2014, it will start a service from Hanoi to Sydney and in 2015, from Ho Chi Minh City to Adelaide.

By 2015, there should be regional services from Danang to North Asian countries. Berlin, Milan, the US West Coast and Africa are also in Vietnam Airlines’ long term plan for network development.

Vietnam Airlines deputy general manager, sales and marketing, Doan Quang Huy who gave a presentation to buyers and media at a product seminar of the four countries Wednesday said the plan was provisional and depended on market development and business trends.

However, there is no doubting its ambition to become the second largest airline in Southeast Asia by 2020.

It will expand its fleet from 73 aircraft today to 170 in 2020, while international destinations will increase from 27 to 53 and annual passenger traffic should grow from 14.4 million to 34.5 million.

Source - ttrweekly