Danang offers TG support
DANANG, 16 August 2012: Danang City is working with Thai International Airways to re-open the Danang – Bangkok route later this year in the hope it will boost tourism to Vietnam’s central region.
The city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism revealed that local officials were working closely with THAI and AirAsia to develop services through a support scheme.
According to the Travel Management Division director, Tran Chi Cuong, tourism related parties such as hotels, travel agencies and local government will join hands to underwrite some of the airlines’ costs involved in launching a new route.
Mr Cuong told local press, Wednesday, that tour operators and hotels in Danang were ready to cover a percentage of the total seat cost to help carrier offset losses while they promoted the route in the first year.
The flight could start later this year or by early next year. In the meantime, the travel community will prepare the market with a road show to Bangkok this October to gain support from tour operators based in the Thai capital.
THAI has shown interest in opening the Danang – Bangkok route based on quotes made by THAI Vietnam’s general manager, Narinthorn Purnagupta, who said the airline would consider the Bangkok-Danang route once its daughter company, THAI Smile, started operations in July.
Currently, there are two airlines offering international flights to Danang; AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and SilkAir from Singapore. Both offer four flights weekly.
From Bangkok, there has been no direct flights after PB Air suspended its service in 2009. Travellers from Bangkok have to connect via Hanoi International Airport, or Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City to Danang airport.
Apart from the Bangkok- Danang route, the city is cooperating with a Hong Kong tour operator, Hong Thai Travel Services, to operate charter flights from Hong Kong to Danang this October. The city hopes it will lead to scheduled flights in the future.
In related developments, SilkAir late last week said it was arranging a four-day familiarisation trip for 18 Vietnamese journalists and travel agencies to promote its Danang, Singapore and Malaysia routes.
SilkAir is expected to arrange more trips to neighboring countries for travel agencies in Vietnam’s central region.
During the first half of 2012, Danang welcomed nearly 1.33 million travellers, up 9% year-on-year. Travel earned an estimated turnover of more than VND2.9 trillion, a pickup of 39%.