Vietjet Air, a low cost airline from Vietnam, will be launching a thrice-weekly direct flight from New Delhi to Ho Chi Minh city, commencing services July this year. Currently there are no direct flights to the city which sees India as a big potential market in the future.
Speaking at a recent event, Nguyen Bac Toan, vice director – commercial department, Vietjet Air, stated, “Seeing the growth of arrivals from the India market, we have planned to launch direct flights to Ho Chi Minh city starting July this year. The flight, scheduled for thrice a week, will take five hours and 30 minutes to reach Vietnam. This will cut down the transit time by 50 per cent, as it takes about roughly 10 hours on stopover flights.”
The airline will operate Airbus A320 aircraft on this route, offering 180 seats. Initially the airline is looking to reach 80 per cent of load factor on both the routes and is hopeful to see the numbers increasing in the future.
Toan mentioned that this is the first phase of Vietjet Air’s expansion plans in India. “We are facing direct competition from Air India, Jet Airways and other airlines on the same route, but we will be looking at partnerships with airlines to add more domestic connectivity within India. The second phase might see more frequency of flights and addition of other destinations within the country. India is a big potential market and we are looking to expand our network here,” he added.
In December last year, Vietjet Air and Air India had signed an MoU for co-operation on supply of aviation services connecting the two countries. The MoU was signed by Dinh Viet Phuong, vice president, Vietjet Air and Pankaj Srivastava, director – commercial and board member, Air India, as part of the agenda of H E Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s (chairperson, Vietnam National Assembly) official visit to India.