Qatar Airways is building on expanded services to the Vietnam’s Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with an interline agreement with local low-cost carrier Vietjet .
The agreement covers Vietjet destinations such as the popular coastal city of Da Nang as well as Ban Me Thuot , Dalat , Hai Phong , Nha Trang , Phu Quoc, Pleiku and Vinh City. It also includes the international destination of Tapei.
It comes as Qatar is boosting flights to Hanoi to double daily from January 1 and to 10 flights a week to Ho Chi Minh City from the same date.
The new agreement will give travellers from Europe better access to flights across the increasingly popular tourist destination and passengers from Vietnam better access to the Gulf carrier’s services to Doha and beyond.
“The new agreement with Vietjet will offer our passengers even more choice, providing them an easy connection in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi before transferring to their Qatar Airways flights,’’ Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker said in a statement.
“Qatar Airways is delighted to celebrate ten years in Vietnam this year, and it is all thanks to the Vietnamese market’s support that we have been able to expand our footprint in this growing market.”
Qatar first began servicing Vietnam with flights to Ho Chi Minh City in March, 2007, and was the first Gulf carrier to offer non-stop service to the South-east Asian nation’s biggest city. It added Hanoi in 2010 and introduced freighter services to Ho Chi Minh City in 2016.
Vietjet is is an IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)-certified carrier boasting a fleet of 45 aircraft, including Airbus A320 and A321s, and operating 350 flights day on 73 routes in Vietnam and the region.
International destinations include Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Last year, Vietjet placed a firm order with Airbus for 10 A321ceo (current engine option) and 10 of the more advanced A321neo aircraft to meet expected growth on its domestic and regional network.
Airbus also finalised a deal to provide the carrier with training services for flight crew and maintenance personnel at the airline’s new facility in Ho Chi Minh City.
Qatar has continued an aggressive international expansion despite a spat with its Gulf neighbours, restricting access to their airspace.
It also announced recently that it would launch daily flights to St Petersburg, Russia, from December 19, doubling its Russian routes.