Russian freight specialist AirBridgeCargo Airlines is the latest carrier to expand its activities into the Vietnamese market and take advantage of the Southeast Asian country’s emergence as a key developing market for both passenger and freight demand in the region.
The airline, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, introduced a twice weekly connection to Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi from its base at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport from April 1, 2015. The flights from Vietnam operate via Hong Kong and connect in the Russian capital to AirBridgeCargo’s wider network into Europe and the United States.
The Asian market has grown into the key market for the Russian carrier and will remain an integral part of its development strategy. Since making its debut in the region in 2004, it has increased its market presence in the area by providing reliable services to meet its customers' growing needs from major markets such as Hong Kong and China, Japan and Korea.
AirBridgeCargo believes that entering the Vietnamese market is a logical next step in expanding in the strategically important Asian market. For decades the world has witnessed how Asia has emerged as the world’s largest manufacturing power, while it has also become one of the largest global consumer markets. “Vietnam’s market development is another bright example of the region’s strength and continued potential and we are excited to start serving our customers there. We are confident that the new Hanoi service will complement our existing network and that this will benefit our clients,” said Robert van de Weg, senior vice president, sales & marketing, AirBridgeCargo.
Hanoi is AirBridgeCargo’s eighth destination in Asia. “Development of point-to-point delivery with our hub model in Moscow will provide our customers with numerous delivery solutions to the major cities in Europe and the United States,” said Joanna Li, vice president Asia Pacific, AirBridgeCargo.
Vietnam is a dynamic and rapidly growing aviation market. Between 2008 and 2013, passenger traffic has almost doubled. In IATA’s industry traffic forecast for 2013 to 2017, Vietnam is expected to be the seventh fastest growing market for international passengers at a rate of 6.9 per cent, and the fastest growing for international freight at 6.6 per cent. And with the ASEAN liberalisation of the air transport sector from this year, the demand for travel will continue to grow.
Speaking last year at a special Vietnam Aviation Day, IATA director general and chief executive officer, Tony Tyler, highlighted how Vietnam is more prosperous because of aviation. “Aviation is a force for good in our world. And its successful development will pay big dividends to the Vietnamese economy. Including tourism, aviation contributes $6 billion to Vietnam’s GDP and supports over 230,000 jobs,” he said.
“It broadens minds with access to global educational and cultural opportunities, and connects families over long distances. Aviation connectivity is also providing local firms with access to global markets, and is an important driver of foreign direct investment in Vietnam,” he added.
On the freight side he highlighted how air cargo is becoming a critical contributor to Vietnam’s economy. About 25 per cent of Vietnam’s trade by value, or $29 billion, is shipped by air. Companies such as Intel, LG Electronics, Nokia, and Samsung have established facilities in Vietnam. It has been reported that by 2015, more than 40 per cent of Samsung’s smartphones will be produced in Vietnam,” he noted.