|An aircraft takes off at Noi Bai Airport. An addition of five international carriers will possibly open new routes or reopen flights to Viet Nam by the end of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong
HA NOI – Five international carriers have registered to open new routes or reopen flights to Viet Nam by the end of the year, bringing the number of foreign airlines operating in Viet Nam to 48.
They include Air Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Jeju Air (South Korea), Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudi Arab), United Airlines (the US), Air China Cargo (China). Air China Cargo was the sole cargo carrier, according to a report on the Government website.
United Airlines will fly San Francisco-Hong Kong-HCM City with seven each way flights a week. The United Airlines and Continental Airlines legally merged into one single airline called "United Airlines" in late 2010 and finally completed their merger process in March 2012.
Until the merger was completed, the HCM City-Hong Kong route (originally operated by ex-United Airlines) was operated under two airline flight codes, United and Continental with
the merger now completed, the Continental code has been removed and the route operates under the United code.
Jeju Air plans seven flights a week on the Seoul-HCM City route.
According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Viet Nam, other airlines also expressed interest in opening new routes or expanding operations in Viet Nam. Singapore Silk Air plans to fly Singapore-Ha Noi. It already flies to Da Nang.
Emirates, of the United Arab Emerites, expressed interest in flying Dubai-HCM City.
Last month, United Airlines and Japanese carrier ANA were given the go-ahead to co-ordinate on price and flight networks from Viet Nam-US, via Hong Kong and Japan, the Government website reported.
Also in March, Cebu Pacific of the Philippines launched two flights a week Manila-Ha Noi.
In the same month, Saudi Airlines Cargo, of Saudi Arab, debuted a cargo service HCM City-Middle East-Frankfurt twice a week.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam has bolstered infrastructure investment and construction, including a plan to build Long Thanh Airport, improve Noi Bai Airport in Ha Noi, and refurbish Cam Rang Airport in central Khanh Hoa Province.
The International Air Transport Association reported last year that Viet Nam would rank third among the world fastest growing markets for both passenger and cargo services. The forecast was based on a 5 per cent annual aviation growth throughout the world compared to Viet Nam's growth rate, which would hit 10 per cent by 2014. – VNS