A Vietnam Airlines aircraft prepares to take off. — VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong
HA NOI — Direct flights between Viet Nam and the United Kingdom, set to be officially launched by Vietnam Airlines on December 8, would make an effective contribution to accelerating bilateral relations between the two countries, according to the national flag carrier's deputy general director Trinh Hong Quang.
The comments were made at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday.
Bilateral ties between the two nations, especially in trade and investment, have seen significant development over the past years, said Quang, adding that among European countries, the UK was Viet Nam's third largest source of foreign investment with approximately US$3 billion in registered capital.
The new air route would also help Vietnam Airlines expand flight networks and sharpen competitiveness to better realise its strategy to develop into a major airline in the region, he said.
From December 8, Vietnam Airlines would fly four times each week from Ha Noi and HCM City to London, using Boeing B777 aircraft. The frequency of flights was expected to increase to seven a week by 2015.
Earlier on Wednesday, Vietnam Airlines also received an Airbus 330-200 aircraft, manufactured in the French city of Toulouse. The airplane is the 11th A330 in the national flag carrier's fleet.
Vietnam Airlines plans to expand its fleet to 115 and 170 aircraft by 2015 and 2020 respectively.
This year, it expects to carry more than 14 million passengers and 193,000 tonnes of cargo, representing increases of 20 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in comparison with last year.
Last year, Vietnam Airlines carried 12.3 million passengers and earned a revenue of $1.9 billion. — VNS