Vietjet will launch service to the Russian capital Moscow during the summer 2022 season, marking the Vietnamese airline’s entry to the European market.
The flights will connect Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) with Hanoi (HAN), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and the beach resort of Nha Trang (NHA) from early July using Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
In November, the LCC said it was due to take delivery of three leased A330s, becoming the first widebodies in its fleet. It also signed an agreement with Airbus on the delivery timeline for 119 aircraft of the airline’s existing backlog.
“Vietjet is ready to relaunch international services. We have invested in a modern fleet, and we will expand our intercontinental flight network in the coming time,” managing director Dinh Viet Phuong says.
“I believe that Vietjet’s new services to Russia will again prove our commitment to offering top-quality flight products and services.”
Vietjet was one of a handful of Southeast Asian LCCs that was expanding rapidly prior to the pandemic. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows the airline grew capacity to 25.1 million seats in 2019—an increase of about 22% compared with the previous 12 months.
However, the carrier has been hit hard by tight border controls that have forced it to halt practically all scheduled international routes since the onset of the crisis.
Vietnam is now planning a phased return of international flights starting with 15 countries in January. The aim is to reach a full resumption by July.
Vietjet hopes to begin the Hanoi-Moscow route from July 3, operating twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays. Flights from Ho Chi Minh City will start on the same day, with a transit through Hanoi.
The Nha Trang-Moscow route will also operate 2X-weekly on Mondays and Fridays, launching on July 10. The flight time for each route is around 10 hours per leg, with an additional 2 hours for the Ho Chi Minh City transit flight.
Schedules filed with OAG show that Vietnam Airlines currently serves Moscow Sheremetyevo from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, while AZUR air offers a seasonal route to Nha Trang from Moscow Vnukovo (VKO).