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India, Vietnam in talks to expand bilaterals

As Vietnam gains popularity among Indian travellers, the governments of India and Vietnam are in active discussions to increase the number of flights under the bilateral air service agreement for the metro cities.

“May be this year or next year, India and Vietnam may increase the bilateral flying rights between the two countries. Both governments are discussing it. The first step is to increase slots and open skies will take time,” Nguyen Trung Hieu, General Manager, Vietnam Airlines, told Mint.

The current bilateral air service agreement between India and Vietnam permit 28 weekly departures from metro cities. Vietnam Airlines and low-cost airline VietJet have already exhausted their share by operating 14 weekly departures each.

While the connectivity from metro cities will depend on increase in bilateral flying rights, Vietnam Airlines is studying the pool of non-metro cities with international status such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Lucknow to connect Tier-II cities in India to Vietnam, an official said.

Vietnam Airlines launched direct flights between the two countries in June 2022 with non-stop flights between New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City.

“Now we have three airlines between Vietnam and India. India is a huge market and demand is enough for all airlines. We are looking at other cities in Vietnam as well such as Da Nang, which is a vibrant city and many tourists from India want to see,” Hieu said.

“India is the most important market for our airline. We are investing our resources into Indian market and offer a range of options for connectivity in domestic and beyond to South Asia, Europe, US, South Korea,” Hieu said. (Source: Mint)


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