Two foreign airlines apply for services to Vietnam

Skywing Airlines of Cambodia and Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo have submitted dossiers to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) for opening passenger and freight flights to Vietnam in summer schedule.

CAAV confirmed with the Daily about the applications and provided some of the information regarding the two foreign airlines. The authority said Skywing registered its 165-seat MD83 aircraft while Saudi Arabian Airlines was planning to operate the Boeing B7 4 7F plane for their services to Vietnam.

CAAV said Saudi Arabian Airlines had applied to conduct its cargo flights to Vietnam from May 2011 but ‘did not reveal further detail about Skywing. If these two airlines enter Vietnam, they will bring the number of foreign carriers active in the Vietnamese aviation market to 48, including a dozen of freight carriers.

CAAV said the exact number of airlines and flights to and from Vietnam in the summer schedule from late March to late October would be announced later when airlines had completed registrations.

Double-digit growth of Vietnam’s aviation market in the past two years captures interest of many international airlines. More than one month ago, Jade Cargo International of China started to fly to Noi Bai International Airport, using the Boeing B747 ER for its weekly services on Thursdays and Sundays.

Jade Cargo International’s Hanoi flights are connected with the carrier’s freight network that covers Shanghai, Chennai, Dubai and Amsterdam.

In March, Sichuan Airlines began its weekly services to Hanoi and HCM City. The Chinese airline uses the Airbus A321, A320 and A319 aircraft for two weekly flights on the Chengdu-Nanning- HCM City route on Mondays and Thursdays as well as its non -stop service between Chongqing and Hanoi on Thursdays and Sundays.

CAAV projected 37.6 million passengers would go through Vietnam’s airports in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 19.2 percent, while cargo volume would rise by I7.5 percent to 690,000 tonnes. Of these total figures, local carriers are expected to transport 17.5 million passengers and 219,000 tonnes of cargo, a year-on-year rise of 20.9 percent and 16.2 percent respectively.

* Qatar Airways yesterday announced a ’2 Tickets for Price of I’ promotion to mark its 100th destination launch while the Malaysia- based low-cost carrier AirAsia is offering a 20 percent discount for all seats on its flights to all destinations.

Described as the biggest promotion in its 14-year history, the Doha-based Qatar Airways will launch the 48-hour global promotion from April 6 throughout April 7 for customers worldwide to book two economy-class tickets but pay only one on

The day of April 6 is when Qatar Airways celebrates the historic milestone of 100 destinations with the start of its four weekly flights to the Siian city of Aleppo. The promotional tickets valid for travel between May 1 and June 10 this year are also available for the carrier’s 11 weekly flights from HCM City and Hanoi.

Also from today till April 8, passengers from Vietnam can purchase the 20 percent discount tickets on AirAsia’s website at for travel from April 9 to May 26 2011. This promotional campaign is applicable for all AirAsia’s domestic, regional and international destinations.

AirAsia and its member airlines operate daily flights from Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to Vietnam, and vice versa.

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