Vietnam Airlines began its new non-stop services from Gatwick to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) today providing British travellers with a direct route to Vietnam for the very first time . Until today, it was only possible to reach this popular Asia-Pacific tourist destination via regional hubs such as Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport said: “For UK holidaymakers, a trip to Vietnam has been made easier and quicker with the launch today of the first direct flights from the UK to two of Vietnam’s popular cities.
“Following the change of ownership two years ago, we have been working extremely hard to attract airlines that open up routes in South East Asia and give passengers a wide choice of destinations to explore. There is a growing demand for travel in Vietnam and so we are naturally very excited that Vietnam Airlines has chosen to provide the direct link between the two countries via Gatwick.”
The President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines, Dr Pham Ngoc Minh, said: “There is no question that there is potential and a determination to bring the partnership between Vietnam and the UK to a new level. And direct air services, I believe, can definitely deliver enormous economic and social benefits. With London now on the list, we have expanded our route network to 28 international destinations. Vietnam will now seem so much closer for UK travellers, with flight times cut to 12 hours”.
Vietnam Airlines will operate twice-weekly services on each route to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, saving travellers a couple of hours on their journey time.
The Hanoi-London flights will operate on Mondays and Thursday and will leave Vietnam at 2345, arriving in to Gatwick at 0620 the following day. The return flight will depart at midday and land at 0640 the day after.
The Ho Chi Minh-London service will take off at 2345 on Tuesdays and Fridays and land at Gatwick at 0620 the following day with the return flight leaving at 1200 and arriving in Vietnam at 0720 the day after.