Air New Zealand adds seasonal Vietnam schedule from 2016

The new flight will be an eleven hour sector and will be operated using a Boeing 767-300ER. The Vietnamese market will initially be served on a seasonal schedule with flights planned between June and October 2016, but the carrier said there is the potential to expand the season in subsequent years.

Air New Zealand is expanding its Pacific Rim presence by introducing New Zealand’s first direct service to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The airline will introduce a three times weekly link between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport from June next year.

The new flight will be an eleven hour sector and will be operated using a Boeing 767-300ER. The Vietnamese market will initially be served on a seasonal schedule with flights planned between June and October 2016, but the carrier said there is the potential to expand the season in subsequent years.

“Vietnam is an increasingly popular leisure destination with the number of Kiwis visiting the country up about 20 percent in the past year. It’s a holiday spot that has huge appeal and we’re confident that by offering a direct service even more Kiwis will be keen to explore it,” said Christopher Luxon, Chief Executive Officer, Air New Zealand.

The airline’s entry point of Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam provides a strong initial gateway for visitors to experience the country’s diversity, and supports the airline’s international business strategy of focussing its growth in Pacific Rim markets.

“Air New Zealand’s new service to Vietnam is significantly more convenient, and quicker than current indirect options. It will also provide a direct link for Vietnamese travellers coming to New Zealand,” added Luxon.

Routes Asia 2016 Airline Attendee List

Airlines are already confirming their attendance for Routes Asia 2016, Manilla, Philippines.

With the addition of services to Ho Chi Minh City, Air New Zealand will fly to 30 international destinations from next year, including new direct services to Buenos Aires and Houston, both of which commence next month. The new Ho Chi Minh link remains subject to government and regulatory approvals and reservations will be opened early next year once these are received.

Air New Zealand will expect to stimulate demand in and out of Vietnam with the introduction of a non-stop flight offering, as well as supporting the limited but growing market of around 80 passengers per day between the two countries, based on 2014 bi-directional O&D demand data.

Last year was the eighth consecutive year that more than 20,000 passengers flew between the countries and annual demand is expected to exceed the 30,000 milestone in 2015 with growth of 14.4 per cent being recorded in the first six months of the year. Singapore Airlines is currently the largest operator between New Zealand and Vietnam with a 35.7 per cent share of estimated demand last year.