Cambodia Air adds Danang flights
Cambodia Angkor Air has announced that it will start a new service on October 27th that will link Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh with Danang in central Vietnam. The new route will be served five times each week using 70-seat ATR72 aircraft. The weekly flights are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The airline also said that it plans to increase seating capacity on its daily Siem Reap to Danang flights by upgrading to an A321 aircraft with 150 seats instead of the smaller ATR72. Around 900,000 Vietnamese visited Cambodia in 2018 and an estimated 15% of those travelers flew to Cambodia using either the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airports.
IndiGo will launch direct routes between India and Vietnam
Indian low cost airlines IndiGo will launch the first ever direct flights between India and Vietnam in October according to a Viet Nam News Agency report.
There will be two direct flights between Kolkata and Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Flights between Kolkata and Ha Noi City will start on October 3rd while flights between Kolkata and HCM City will start on October 18th.
William Boulter, IndiGo’s Chief Commercial Officer said the airline had received encouraging feedback about the routes and told Vietnamese media in a June interview, that “Vietnam is one of the most promising destinations.”
IndiGo is India's largest domestic carrier, in terms of market share and Vietnam will become the fifth South East Asian country in the airline's network after Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.
Vietjet opens a new ticket office in HCM City
Vietjet Air has opened a new ticket office in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh District, enabling customers to check-in and use other services downtown. The new ticket office will provide a variety of functions for passengers who are booking or checking in for their flights.
Passengers using the city ticket office can check in for their flights before going to the airport including checking in their bags, buying add-ons and obtaining their boarding passes. This means when they arrive at the airport, passengers can skip check in at the airline counter and head straight to the security gate.
Digital signs in the ticket office and the adjoining Vietjet Plaza complete will keep passengers informed on the status of all Vietjet flights. A free shuttle bus service for passengers traveling from the ticket office to Tan Son Nhat airport will operate at 15-minute intervals.
Vietjet launches flights to Taipei
Vietjet announced its latest international route, which will connect the central coastal city of Da Nang and Taipei. The Da Nang to Taipei route will operate daily starting on December 19th, with a flight time estimated at three hours. Flights from Da Nang will depart at 10:50am and arrive in Taipei at 2:30pm (local time) and daily return flights will Taipei at 3.30pm and land in Da Nang at 5.30pm (local time).
Jay Lingeswara, Director of International Sales & Distribution said that the new route is part of Vietjet's plan to expand its flight network to provide more flying opportunities for travellers. The airlines flight schedule to Taiwan allows passengers to travel daily from Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City to the cities of Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei.
Vietnam Airlines receives US carrier permit
The US Department of Transportation has awarded a foreign air carrier permit to Vietnam Airlines and the airline is authorized to engage in air transportation persons, property and mail between Vietnam and the United States.
Specifically, Vietnam Airlines will be allowed to fly between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City via the intermediate points Taiwan of China, and Osaka and Nagoya of Japan and the co-terminal points Los Angeles, California; San Francisco, California; New York, New York; Seattle, Washington; and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, and beyond to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, Canada.
Currently there are no direct flights between the United States and Vietnam and passengers who want to fly between the countries have to transport at regional airports in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and other countries in Southeast Asia.
Vietnam Airlines has previously said that it plans to wet-lease aircraft capable of direct flights between Vietnam and the United States and that it expects flights to begin in early or mid-2020.
Vietnam Airlines launches “Cash & Miles” payment system
In a fist for Vietnam’s aviation industry, passengers on Vietnam Airlines flights will be able to pay for tickets and other services with a combination of cash and Lotusmiles, the airlines frequent flyer point program.
The new service will be exclusively for Lotusmiles members who purchase tickets on the Vietnam Airlines website or at its ticket offices. The airline said that it will also extend the program to customers who book flights and make payment through its mobile app.
Lotusmiles members will be able to use their miles (points) to pay for a part of a flight's cost or the whole value of a flight operated by the carrier (not including payment of taxes, fees, and additional costs). As with normal cash / credit card purchases, the value of the miles that customers use for the payment will depend upon the time of purchase, departure date, itinerary and booking class.
Cash and miles payment systems has been implemented by many major airlines in the world including Delta Air Lines (US), Emirates (UAE), EVA Air (Taiwan), Lufthansa (Germany), and Thai Airways (Thailand) and have been popular with passengers. Other airlines in Vietnam are expected to monitor customer usage and they could launch similar programs in the future.