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Jetstar adds low-cost services between Australia and Vietnam this summer

By Minh Nga   April 6, 2017 | 11:27 am GMT+7
Jetstar adds low-cost services between Australia and Vietnam this summer
An airport worker stands in front of a Jetstar passenger plane at Avalon Airport in Melbourne. Photo by Reuters

The Qantas unit hopes to break the monopoly currently held by national carrier Vietnam Airlines, which is also a Qantas partner.

Australia's trade and tourism ministry on Wednesday announced two low-cost direct services from Melbourne and Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City by Jetstar Airways.

The new services will take off in May this year, Assistant Minister Keith Pitt told a meeting with local media in HCMC.

Jetstar Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Australia's Qantas Airways, will operate the flights four times a week from Sydney and three times weekly from Melbourne using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Ticket sales began in January. Flights from Melbourne to HCMC will be launched on May 10, and flights from Sydney will commence one day later, subject to regulatory approval.

“These flights will stimulate inbound tourism, business and trade to Australia. In the last 12 months, there has been a 21 percent increase in visitors from Vietnam to Australia and we expect to see that grow with the introduction of our low fares on the route,” Paul Rombeek, Jetstar Group’s Global Head of Sales, told the press.

The new flights from Australia to HCMC by Jetstar Airways would link up to 15 domestic destinations from HCMC thanks to daily services operated currently by Vietnamese domestic partner Jetstar Pacific, Jetstar Group Chief Executive Jayne Hrdlicka said in a statement quoted by Reuters in January.

Jetstar Pacific, 70 percent owned by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and 30 percent by Qantas, is growing rapidly in an attempt to fend off a competitive threat from domestic budget rival VietJet, she said.

Vietnam Airlines and Qantas last year said they would invest $139 million to more than double the size of Jetstar Pacific's fleet to 30 aircraft by 2020, according to Reuters.

Jetstar's non-stop flights from Australia to Vietnam will break a monopoly of direct services held by Vietnam Airlines, said the report.

More than 320,000 Australian visitors came to Vietnam last year, up 5.6 percent against 2015. The figure in the first three months this year was over 95,000, up 3.4 percent, according to data of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.