Vietnam gains new airline

3 Dec 2008

IndoChina Airlines, Vietnam’s first privately-owned airline, recently launched services, offering four daily services from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, as well as two flights daily between Ho Chi Minh City and Danang.

Owned by a group of Vietnamese businessmen (among them a well-known pop music composer), the carrier aims to draw on the increasing demand for air travel around the country.

While currently only offering domestic flights, IndoChina Airlines intends to go regional, besides adding more local destinations such as the resort city of Cha Trang and the ancient capital Hue to its network. Its present fleet consists of two Boeing B737-800s, each with a seating capacity of 174. It comes up in the domestic market against Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific, a partnership between the state-owned carrier and Australia’s Qantas, which is holding an 18 percent stake.

Hongkong Airlines, meanwhile, has terminated its five times weekly services between Hongkong and Ho Chi Minh. No reason was given although this might be due to intense competition from Cathay Pacific and Vietnam Airlines and the global economic slowdown. It will still fly four times a week between Hongkong and Hanoi on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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He Ruiming

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