Vietnamese carriers race to resume direct routes to China

By Doan Loan   March 15, 2023 | 09:54 pm PT
Vietnamese carriers race to resume direct routes to China
A Vietjet Air aircraft at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Domestic carriers plan to resume a series of direct air routes to Chinese cities from late this month, following China's decision to allow its citizens to travel to Vietnam again.

Low-cost carrier Vietjet Air said Wednesday it would restart air services to major cities in China, such as Tianjin, Zhangjiajie and Chengdu, later this month.

Vietjet currently operates flights from major Vietnamese tourist destinations to Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Wuhan with a frequency of one trip per week.

"With a positive signal from China’s outbound tour resumption, Vietnam's target of welcoming 8 million international tourists for this year will soon be achieved," said a spokesman for Vietjet Air.

Vietnam Airlines plans to resume flights to China's Nanjing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Sichuan next month.

The national flag carrier is operating routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to Shanghai and Guangzhou with a frequency of 12 flights per week.

Vietravel Airlines also signed contracts with its partners to operate charter flights between the central beach town of Nha Trang and some major Chinese cities such as Hangzhou, Changzhou, and Kunming.

In April, Bamboo Airways plans to operate charter flights between Nha Trang and Macao with four flights per week and Hanoi/HCMC-Haikou with three weekly flights.

In 2019, the year before the onset of the pandemic, 11 Chinese and three Vietnamese airlines carried nearly eight million passengers between the two countries, with the latter accounting for 4.6 million.

Vietnam welcomed the first tour groups from China in three years on Wednesday.

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