01 Oct 2013 07:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), today launched daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Today’s inaugural flight – EY441 – has historic significance as the
first ever commercial passenger service between Abu Dhabi and Vietnam’s
Travellers between Abu Dhabi and Ho Chi Minh City can now enjoy the
convenience of non-stop flights between the city pair with seamless connections
to the airline’s global flight network.
Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said
the new Ho Chi Minh City flights would meet strong demand for business and
leisure travel and cargo services between Vietnam and the UAE, the Middle East and Europe.
“Vietnam is not only the 13th most populous nation, it is also one of
the world’s fastest growing economies. Its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh
City, is a gateway for millions of Vietnamese international travellers and a
busy trading hub.
“Our daily services will inject approximately 3,700 new seats a week
into the route. This will intensify competition among airlines for business,
leisure and VFR travel from Vietnam to Europe and help boost visitor traffic to
the UAE and GCC.
“From an inbound perspective, we are now well-positioned to offer
travellers from Middle East and Europe the convenience of non-stop or one-stop
flights to Vietnam, which is becoming one of the world’s most popular holiday
“We look forward to working with our stakeholders in Vietnam and abroad
to bring more international visitors to Vietnam to experience its history,
culture and unique character.”
Mr Hogan also highlighted the revenue potential of the new services to
Vietnam for the airline’s highly successful freight division, Etihad Cargo.
“The United Arab Emirates is Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner
and its largest in the Gulf region.
“In 2012, exports from Vietnam to the UAE exceeded US$2 billion for the
first time – up 82 per cent on 2011 – and forecast to exceed US$4 billion in
“The 13.1 tonne bellyhold capacity of our Airbus A330- 200 aircraft, which equates to more than 9,500 tonnes per year, gives
us sufficient capacity to boost the volume and value of trade between the UAE
and Vietnam and to other markets in the GCC, Europe and North America.”
Mr Hogan said he hoped the new services would also help support the UAE
government’s investment in infrastructure, energy, construction and tourism
projects in Vietnam – with a current value of more than US$3 billion – and
encourage further such ventures in the future.
The Abu Dhabi-Ho Chi Minh City flights are operated by an Airbus
A330-200 aircraft with 22 seats in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral
With the launch of Etihad Airways’ Vietnam flights, its codeshare
partner, Vietnam Airlines, will place its VN code on the Abu Dhabi-Ho Chi Minh
City sector. This extends the scope of the airlines’ current codeshare
Etihad Airways already has its EY code on Vietnam Airlines’
flights from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam
Airlines has its VN code on Etihad Airways’ flights from Bangkok and Kuala
Lumpur to Abu Dhabi and luxury coach services from Abu Dhabi International
Airport to Dubai.