Vietnam Airlines is expected to join the SkyTeam global airline alliance in 2010 with the signing of a preliminary agreement between the two parties in Hanoi yesterday. The agreement outlines the airline’s intention to join SkyTeam at the fulfilment of the alliance’s requirements.
“Vietnam Airlines will enhance SkyTeam’s network in Southeast Asia, adding new destinations throughout the region,” said Dominique Patry, SkyTeam steering committee chairman and senior vice president of international affairs and alliances at Air France.
The airline will add 17 unique destinations to the SkyTeam network, including 14 cities in Vietnam.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines runs 64 routes to 20 domestic and 24 international destinations with a young fleet of 50 aircraft. It flies over nine million passengers annually to key destinations like Beijing, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Moscow, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo.
“The agreement reaffirms our position as a major carrier in the Southeast Asia and marks a step forward in our efforts to become a strong global partner for SkyTeam,” said airline CEO Dr Pham Ngoc Minh.
Vietnam Airlines’ inclusion to the SkyTeam network would bring the alliance back to 10 members following the departure of Continental Airlines in October last year.