DALLAS – Vietnam Airlines (VA) has launched a flight service between its two gateways of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the Indian capital. The very first flight took place a day ago and landed at New Delhi Airport (DEL) at 14:45 PM local time.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the total number of visitors between India and Vietnam in 2019 reached a figure of over 300,000, proving the demand to open up further routes between the nations. Most Vietnamese tourists visited New Delhi.
The Hanoi-New Delhi sector will be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week, while Ho Chi Minh City and the Indian capital on Thursdays and Saturdays.
- VN5025 Hanoi 11:50 New Delhi 14:25
- VN5024 New Delhi 16:00 Hanoi 21:30
- VN5029 Ho Chi Minh 11:55 New Delhi 15:00
- VN5028 New Delhi 16:00 Ho Chi Minh 22:30
But that’s not it, it’s not an ordinary VA Airbus A321 that’ll fly the route but their latest jet, the Airbus A350-900. VA’s A350’s come in a three-class configuration – the first variant comes with 29 in Business, 45 in premium economy, and 231 in economy. The second, is 29 in Business, 36 in Premium Economy, and 240 in Economy.
This will be the third airline to operate between the two countries after IndiGo (6E) on the Kolkata–Hanoi, and Kolkata–Ho Chi Minh routes, and low-cost Vietnamese carrier Vietjet (VJ) on the Ho Chi Minh–New Delhi line. Once upon a time, Jet Airways (9W) did fly to Ho Chi Minh City via Bangkok (BKK) from Mumbai (BOM).
A New Regional Jet for the Carrier?
Vietnam Airlines is also eyeing a fleet renewal for its regional network. At present, it flies a fleet of seven ATR-72s ( six owned and one leased) and wants to retire them by bringing in either Embraers E190/E195 (Generation unknown) or the Airbus A220 that will fly to airports of Ca Mau, Can Tho, Con Dao, Dien Bien Phu, Rach Gia, and Vinh City.
Earlier this year, Vietnam opened its doors to the world by lifting border restrictions. The resumed routes included Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, Xinhua, according to Tran Bao Ngoc, director of Vietnam’s Transportation Department.
Featured image: Vietnam Airlines VN-A896 Airbus A350-900. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways