Etihad Airways launched daily flights Tuesday to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The inaugural flight is the first ever commercial passenger service between Abu Dhabi and Vietnam’s commercial capital.
“Vietnam is not only the 13th most populous nation, it is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, is a gateway for millions of Vietnamese international travelers and a busy trading hub,” Etihad Airways president and CEO James Hogan said.
Hogan said the new Ho Chi Minh City flights would meet strong demand for cargo services between Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East and Europe.
“The United Arab Emirates is Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner and its largest in the Gulf region,” he said. “In 2012, exports from Vietnam to the UAE exceeded US$2 billion for the first time – up 82 percent on 2011 – and forecast to exceed US$4 billion in 2013. The 13.1-tonne belly-hold capacity of our Airbus A330-200 aircraft, which equates to more than 9,500 tonnes per year, gives us sufficient capacity to boost the volume and value of trade between the UAE and Vietnam and to other markets in the GCC, Europe and North America.”
Hogan said he hoped the new services would also help support the UAE government’s investment in infrastructure, energy, construction and tourism projects in Vietnam and encourage further such ventures in the future.
With the launch of Etihad Airways’ Vietnam flights, its codeshare partner, Vietnam Airlines, will place its VN code on the Abu Dhabi-Ho Chi Minh City sector. This extends the scope of the airlines’ codeshare agreement.