Domestic airlines race to open new international routes

More airlines in Vietnam have launched international routes with big promotional campaigns.

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Vietnam Airlines at an international tourism fair in Moscow, Russia

Vietjet Air has launched a campaign to promote new routes to Tokyo and Busan, offering tickets prices starting from free. 670,000 tickets for flights to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Hong Kong will be offered to passengers from May 14 to December 31.

From March 15 to 24, Vietnam Airlines has started the Hello Summer 2019 on 90 flight routes, one of their biggest programme of the year yet. Passengers are offered the chance to buy return tickets from Vietnam to other countries with a starting price of USD9. The programme will be applied to flights that are scheduled to take off from April 1 to October 31.

In the past year, local airlines have opened many new international routes. Vietjet Air opened three new routes to Japan from November 2018 to January 2019 and a Phu Quoc-Seoul route in last December. It is planning to open a HCM City-Tokyo route and a Nha Trang-Busan route in July.

In last October, Vietnam Airlines also opened a new air route to Osaka, Japan.

Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, said they were receiving a huge number of international flights. Last year, 58 airlines had flights to Vietnam and this number is expected to increase to 60 this year.

According to Cuong, several countries such as South Korea and China have reduced the number of domestic flights because passengers can easily travel inside the country with other mass transit systems like high-speed trains.

Vietnamese airlines faced tougher competition with increasing international flights but their revenues also increased. He went on to say that Hanoi-Danang-HCM City-Cam Ranh routes would definitely be kept in operation, however, other routes were not guaranteed.

“When some airports in Vietnam are overcrowded and can’t add more flights, the airlines should consider focusing on important routes first,” Cuong said. “The number of domestic flight routes will not increase in the future and may even be reduced. We are researching this trend.”

Nguoi Lao Dong/Dtinews