Vietjet, a Vietnamese airline, has announced a first-ever direct flight route from Kerala to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from August 12. The announcement came days after Vietnamese Ambassador, Nguyen Thanh Hai, met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on July 5 and promised to start a direct flight service between Ho Chi Minh City and Kochi.
Vietjet said with the commencement of the new route from Cochin International Airport, the airline will be operating a total of 32 Vietnam-India flights every week. (Also Read | Vietnam emerging as Southeast Asia’s new tourist hot spot)
Airline authorities said the Kochi- Ho Chi Minh City route will be operated with a frequency of four flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
“The flights from Kochi will depart at 23:50 (local time) and land in Ho Chi Minh City at 06:40 (local time). The return flights will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at 19:20 (local time) and arrive in Kochi at 22:50 (local time),” the airlines said in a release.
After his meeting with the Vietnamese Ambassador nearly a week ago, Chief Vijayan, in a tweet, said that the direct flight service would enhance ties between Kerala and Vietnam and also boost the state’s tourism and development.
Speaking at an event held here last week announcing the launch of the new route from Kochi, the Vietnamese Ambassador to India had termed the opening of the route connecting Kochi and Ho Chi Minh City by Vietjet as a breakthrough, creating a new impetus for economic – trade – tourism cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between Viet Nam and South India.
“With the favourable geographical location of Ho Chi Minh City in particular, and Vietnam in general, visitors will easily explore destinations across Vietnam as well as from Vietnam to other countries and regions around the world,” Hai had said in the release.
Jay L Lingeswara, Vice-President (Commerce) of the airline had said that with this new route, Vietjet will increase connectivity between Vietnam and India.
The company expects to make significant contributions to the tourism growth of Kerala, India and Vietnam via its wide range of products and services accompanied by competitive and reasonable fares.
Vietjet flights are currently operating from Mumbai, New Delhi, and Ahmedabad, connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The airline said in the first five months of this year, 1,41,000 passengers from India visited Vietnam, and it is expected to reach 500,000 visitors this year.
“Previously, in 2022, the number of Indian visitors to Vietnam grew impressively, reaching 137,900 arrivals, ranking ninth in the 10 markets sending tourists to Vietnam the most. Vietjet’s new route is expected to bring about 10,000 more passengers from the southern region of India to Vietnam in 2023,” the release said.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.