Air travel between Vietnam and New Zealand will be made easier as Air New Zealand plans to launch non-stop services to Southeast Asian destinations, possibly including Vietnam, in 2016, according to the New Zealand press on November 12.
The plan details will be announced officially by the airline on November 13.
According to Flight Centre General Director of Product Sean Berenson, Southeast Asia has become a popular destination for New Zealanders so there is a need to establish direct routes to the region.
Some 12,400 New Zealanders visited Vietnam in 2013 and the number increased to 15,000 in 2014.
Currently, the carrier is joining hands with Singapore Airline to transport tourists to Vietnam.
Air New Zealand is to start flying from Auckland to Buenos Aires, Argentina, three times a week from December 1 and Auckland to Houston, the US, five times a week from December 15.
Air New Zealand will open three flights a week using a 700 seat Boeing 767-300 from New Zealand to Ho Chi Minh City in June, 2016.
The seasonal route will carry around 10, 000 passengers taking the non-stop 11 hour from New Zealand to Vietnam from June to October, 2016 with the possibility of extending the season in subsequent years.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said: “The airline has selected Ho Chi Minh City as new international destination for its tourism development strategy because the number of the country’s travelers arriving in Vietnam has increased 20 percents in the previous years and this figure is forecast to continue rising in next years”.
Travel Commercial Director of Air New Zealand Brent Thomas said: “The opening of new route aims to respond to demand of travelling of New Zealand’s tourists to Vietnam”.
The new service will create an oppoturnity for Vietnam to compete in the popular regional destinations such as Thailand or Bali (Indonesia).