HOUSE OF THE WEEKmore
Vietnam Airlines lands in Yangon
(Volume 26, No. 513)
THE inaugural flight of Vietnam Airlines’ Yangon-Hanoi route landed at Yangon International Airport on March 2 at 6:10pm and departed at 7:10pm for Hanoi.
News media personnel were not allowed into the airport for the arrival but a ceremony was held at Chatrium Hotel on the same day to mark the occasion, with company officials and Vietnam’s ambassador to Myanmar, Mr Chu Cong Phung, in attendance.
“We had originally planned to launch the [Hanoi-Yangon] route last year, but had to postpone [the launch]. But now, for the first time, direct flights between Hanoi and Yangon have begun,” Mr Phung said at the ceremony.
He said the company hoped to launch a direct service to Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam, in the “near future”.
The airline operates four flights a week – on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – using a 79-seat Fokker-70 aircraft.
Mr Cao Xuan Phu, the general manager of Vietnam Airlines’ branch office in Myanmar, said the airline plans to add a fifth scheduled flight, using an Airbus A320, in time for Myanmar’s peak tourism season later in 2010.
“Vietnam Airlines will try to operate flights to other cities in Myanmar in future,” he added. Vietnam Airlines is offering promotional rates to encourage tourists from Vietnam to visit Myanmar, as well as travellers from Europe and other Asian countries to come here via Vietnam.
The airline will offer a round-trip promotional fare of about US$210 – excluding taxes – from Yangon to Hanoi from March 2 to the end of April, compared to a regular one-way fare of $195 or a round-trip fare of $260.
Ticketing agents contacted by The Myanmar Times quoted fares of between $225 to $230, including all taxes, for the promotional one-way fare and about $290 for a round-trip ticket.
Vietnam Airlines says it will also offer promotional fares for transit customers travelling on from Hanoi, such as $470 to South Korea, $670 to Japan, or France and Germany, excluding taxes.
Ticketing agents were last week unable to give a quote including taxes.
“Also we will bring journalists and representatives of tourism companies from other markets to visit and explore and write articles about Myanmar,” said Mr Phu.
He said the airline had opened a branch office in Yangon’s Sakura Tower.