In a move designed to expand business, cultural and tourism between Vietnam and the Middle-east, Da Nang City, in co-operation with Qatar Airways, plans to launch a direct flight connecting Da Nang and Doha City in the Middle East later this year.
A source from the city’s tourism department confirmed that the city and Qatar Airways have been in negotiations and plan to open the new route in the 4th quarter of this year. Once started, it will be the only direct flight from Da Nang, central Vietnam to Qatar and the Middle East region.
The city expects that the new air route would help promote culture, investment, trade and tourism between the central region and the Middle East in the coming years.
Middle-eastern tourists who visit Da Nang have to use Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport for connecting flights to the middle east or fly from Hong Kong and total flight time can take up to 21 hours. Flights from Da Nang to Doha are expected to take 12 hours, significantly shortening the time that travelers have to be in the air.
Da Nang city expects to promote cultural exchanges between Vietnam and the middle east and will promote Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue City, My Son in central Viet Nam and Phong Nha-Ke Bang, the UNESCO-recognized world heritage site.
Da Nang’s importance to the central region of Vietnam has increased with the upgrades to its international airport that now has 21 international flights from China, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia and has only been able to serve middle-eastern visitors when they have flown through other cities to reach Da Nang.
Pham Van Nghia, Commercial Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in the United Arab Emirates said in an interview with Vietnam News that businesses from Viet Nam know little about Dubai and the Middle East market and are therefore missing many business opportunities. He pointed to the fact that in 2016, only 50 Vietnamese companies joined the Vietnam promotion week in Dubai.
The addition of Da Nang to Doha flights are part of an aggressive expansion plan by Qatar Airlines that the company announced in May. As well as Da Nang, the airline says it will begin direct flight to other southeast Asian locations including, Cebu and Davao in the Philippines and Langkawi, Malaysia.