ATF: Vietnam boosts Bangkok flights

HO CHI MINH CITY, 15 January 2019: Vietnam Airlines confirmed this week it will increase flights on its popular Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok route to four daily effective 1 June.

Today, the airline flies three daily services with the new service due to be added every evening.

It is part a slate of new services and increases in capacity planned for this year that will be promoted during the ATF this week.

On the eve of the TRAVEX trade show, which is part of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, airline officials said the new evening service (VN609) would depart Ho Chi Minh City at 1930 and arrive in Bangkok at 2105.

The return flight (VN608) will depart Bangkok at 2205 and arrive at its home base in Ho Chi Minh City at 2345

Vietnam Airlines will use an A321 for three of the daily services. Effective 31 March the airline will upgrade one service (VN607/VN606) to the larger Boeing Dreamliner 787.

The Bangkok services connect with its Skyteam alliance partner airlines serving the Thai capital through codeshare agreements with Vietnam Airline.  But local traffic on the route has grown as more Vietnamese travellers visit Bangkok on holiday.

Vietnam faces a tough competitive set flying between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

Fare comparison sites show Vietnam Airlines competing with a roundtrip fare of USD167, while Thai Airways, which offers three daily services, quotes a fare of USD181.

Also offering three flights daily on the city-pair route Vietjet sells its lowest fare at USD185 

Vietnam is the second largest source market for tour group business to Thailand, booked through Association of Thai Travel Agents’ members. In 2018, members handled 283,123 clients representing a growth of 14.57.

Tourist arrivals from Vietnam including tour groups, independent and corporate travel reached 956,652 visits, according Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports data for January to November 2018.