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More int’l flights connect Vietnam

A number of foreign airlines are commencing and operating more flights to HCMC and Hanoi in winter schedule, which is usually a busy period for air travel to and from Vietnam.

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has licensed AeroSvit Airlines to launch direct flights between Kiev and HCMC. Vo Huy Cuong, director of Air Transport Department at this aviation authority, told the Daily on the phone on Tuesday that the Ukrainian airline would start two weekly services on this route from this week.

AeroSvit Airlines is organizing a function in HCMC on December 22 to mark the new Kiev-HCMC service, which is the result of a partnership agreement signed between AeroSvit Airlines and Vietnam Airlines during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s official visit to Ukraine in early October.

The agreement was signed in Kiev after a session of the Ukrainian-Vietnamese intergovernmental commission on economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation held as part of the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s visit.

The Kiev-HCMC service is the first air link between Vietnam and Ukraine, as national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines now offers flights to and from the Russian city of Moscow.

In the winter schedule, Qatar Airways has made its frequency to Hanoi daily from previous four weekly flights between Doha and Hanoi via a stopover in Bangkok. The carrier started to fly on this route in November last year, with flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Currently, Qatar Airways performs all seven weekly flights between HCMC and Doha via Bangkok instead of only three services on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in the summer schedule.

The winter schedule also sees Jetstar Asia launch services between Singapore and Hanoi to provide passengers with more options for air travel between the island country and Vietnam, where the low-cost carrier services daily at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC.

Jetstar began the Singapore-Hanoi route with four weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. The Jetstar management disclosed this route at a press conference in Hanoi in mid-2011, saying that this new service would give Asia Pacific passengers better access to the Jetstar network and allow them to tap more easily into the carrier’s rapidly growing Singapore hub.

Meanwhile, the steady growth in the number of Australian visitors to Vietnam over the past time has encouraged airlines to offer more flights between Vietnam and Australia.

Recently, international and local newspapers run news about Australian low-cost carrier Air Australia’s plan to conduct services from Melbourne and Brisbane to Shanghai and HCMC from mid-2012 subject to regulatory approval. But Cuong of CAAV confirmed to the Daily that this aviation authority had not received any application from this airline.

Figures of the General Statistics Office show Australia was Vietnam’s seventh largest visitor-generating market in the January-November period when more than 261,000 Australians came to Vietnam, up around 3.9% year-on-year.

SGT

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