Vietnam Airlines (VNA) will reopen international services on five more routes linking Vietnam and neighboring China in the next two months, raising the total number of Vietnam-China routes operated by the airline to nine, just one less than the pre-pandemic level.
The national flag carrier announced that it would resume services on the Hanoi-Beijing route in March, with three weekly flights, local media reported.
According to the report, the flight frequency between Vietnam’s two biggest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, and China’s Guangzhou and Shanghai will also be increased from one-two weekly flights per route to four.
In April, the airline is set to reopen four routes comprising Danang-Guangzhou/Shanghai/Chengdu and Hanoi-Chengdu, with two weekly flights on each route.
It plans to use wide-body aircraft, namely Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s, to serve passengers on the Hanoi-Beijing and the Hanoi/HCMC-Shanghai routes from September this year.
Though the number of VNA flights connecting Vietnam and China remains fewer than in the pre-pandemic period, the airline is expecting positive growth in the upcoming time. In an optimistic scenario, air passenger traffic between Vietnam and China this year is forecast to reach some 80% of the figure in 2019, thanks to China’s move to further relax its Covid restrictions.
In 2019, Vietnam Airlines transported 8.1 million passengers between Vietnam and China, accounting for 19% of the total number of its passengers.
According to local media, in early December last year, the airline reopened its first commercial flight to China after a three-year hiatus induced by Covid.