To Europe: VietJet Reveals Initial Airbus A330 Routes

Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet has revealed that Moscow will be its first European destination. The airline has said that the Russian capital will be linked to three Vietnam cities from July. We check it out.

A330
Moscow will be VietJet’s first European destination. Photo: James Rowson via Wikimedia.

What’s happening?

Fast-growing LCC VietJet has said that it’ll be adding Moscow (seemingly Sheremetyevo) from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the beach resort of Nha Trang from early July, the month it expects its short-haul international operation to be fully operational.

It is expected that Hanoi will begin on July 3rd with two weekly flights. Ho Chi Minh will be a one-stop through-plane service via Hanoi, while Nha Trang will be twice-weekly from July 10th. VietJet’s Managing Director, Dinh Viet Phuong, said:

“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. I believe that Vietjet’s new services to Russia will again prove our commitment to offering top-quality flight products and services.”

Although not yet bookable, Moscow looks much more likely to materialize than fellow Vietnam operator Bamboo Airways’ multiple new long-haul routes, including to the US, Melbourne, Prague, Munich, and more. It signs agreements, and nothing happens. It was the case even before coronavirus. Will it change?

VietJet
Its incoming A330s will join 75 aircraft, comprising A320ceos, A321ceos, and A321neos. Photo: VietJet.

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Why Russia?

Vietnam is a very popular destination for Russians. According to the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Tourism, nearly 650,000 Russians visited in 2019. It was Vietnam’s sixth-largest source market, behind China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US.

According to Vietnam Tourism, in the first three months of 2020, as the pandemic started to hit, Russian visitors more than doubled versus the same period the year before. Vietnam closed its border in March 2020 and only reopened, albeit limitedly, in November 2021.

Vietnam Airlines 787
Vietnam Airlines has served Moscow for many years. Photo: Vietnam Airlines.

Beach and cities

Beach resorts are especially popular for Russians. In 2019, Nha Trang alone was linked non-stop to 27 airports across the nation, OAG shows. These included places that many won’t have heard of, such as Blagoveschensk, Kemerovo, and Novokuznetsk. They’ll all be coming back, with Russia undoubtedly to be even more significant in time.

Meanwhile, Aeroflot connected Sheremetyevo non-stop to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and Vietnam Airlines operated Hanoi-Sheremetyevo. Currently, Vietnam Airlines serves Sheremetyevo from both Vietnam airports, with no date for Aeroflot’s return.

VietJet's development
Figures only include the Vietnam unit, not its Thailand subsidiary. Source of data: OAG.

VietJet’s incoming A330s

In early November, VietJet announced plans to take its first steps into the widebody market by acquiring three leased Airbus A330s. As well as Moscow, and any other European destination, they’re likely also to be deployed across Asia, especially at peak times.

According to ch-aviation.com, VietJet has 75 aircraft across the A320ceos, A321ceos, and A321neos. It has a further 320 aircraft on order, especially the A321neo and B737 MAX. Meanwhile, Thai VietJet has 16 jets, all A320ceos, and A321ceos.

What do you make of VietJet’s long-haul ambition? Let us know in the comments.

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