VGP – The Vietnamese aviation industry became bustling following the launch of numerous new air routes by famous international carrriers in the first half of 2012.
In early June, Emirates Airline from the UAE officially set foothold to Vietnam by opening a daily air route linking Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City.
Kenya Airways, the flag carrier and largest airline of Kenya joined the Vietnamese aviation market. This is the second African airline to run air routes to Vietnam.
The Ho Chi Minh Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported that Kazakhstan-based Air Astana intended to launch an air route to HCM City in early 2013.
Earlier, in May, Finnair, Finland's flagship carrier selected Vietnam’s East Sea Tourism Company as its general agent. Finnair has coordinated with Vietnam Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Jetstar to provide transits for its flights to Helsinki, other Finnish cities and more than other 60 destinations within Europe.
Meanwhile, in March, United from the US and ANA from Japan announced plans to expand trans-Pacific cooperation on the Vietnam-US route from April, 1 2012.
Also in March, Saudi Airlines Cargo of Saudi Arabia kicked off airfreight shipment linking HCM City and the Middle East, Frankfurt (Germany) with two flights per week. Cebu Pacific, the Philippine's second flag carrier also started a new route between Manila and Hanoi.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam assessed that the country has a promising aviation market which expanded 14% last year.
So far, 48 airlines have opened air routes to Vietnam. It is expected that five others including Air Hongkong (China), Jeju Air (the Republic of Korea), Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudi Arabia), United Airlines (the US) and Air China Cargo (China) will participate in the market.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast that by 2014, Vietnam would become the world’s third fastest growing market for air passengers and cargo, just behind China and Brazil.
By 2015 there would be 34-36 million passengers coming to Vietnam, and by 2019 that figure would reach 52-59 millions./.
By Kim Anh