Vietjet Air Celebrates First Australian Flight to Melbourne with Free Connecting flights

Vietjet Air establishes its route from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Melbourne, Australia on the 8th over the weekend.

After years of speculation that the Airline will start services to the southern hemisphere, Vietnam’s low-cost carrier (LCC) Vietjet Air establishes the flight to Melbourne over the weekend as the first of the three destinations to Australia, with the other being Brisbane and Sydney. The schedule is operated by the newly acquired Airbus A330-300s fleet from Air Asia X. The Airbus A330-300s will be configured with 12 SkyBoss Business seats with the rest of the 356 seats being allocated to various other classes for passengers to choose from.

Vietjet launches Vietnam to Melbourne flight
Inaugural flight connecting SGN-MEL commenced on the 8th Apr 2023. ©VietjetAir

VJC81, operated by an Airbus A330-343, registered VNA811, departed Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 11:33 a.m. local time and arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport at 22:55 p.m. The total flight time from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne was 8hr 21mins, the aircraft flew over Brunei, Darwin, and Alice Springs before reaching Melbourne. VJC81 landed on runway 16 of Tullamarine(MEL) at 10:55 p.m. local time, which was 20 mins behind the scheduled arrival time of 10:35 p.m., living up to its nickname “Delayjet” colloquially.

Melbourne, Sydney, then Brisbane

The maiden flight to Melbourne is part one of the LCC’s plan to establish its network to the major cities in Australia. With Sydney being scheduled later in the month, the service connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Brisbane will commence on the 16th of June. The connecting flight will be operated 4 times weekly on Mondays and Fridays. Vietjet will be the first airline to establish direct flights from Brisbane and Ho Chi Minh City in the country’s 50 years of diplomatic history.

The inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney (SGN-SYD) is scheduled on 12th April, thereafter with 6 services weekly. From now until the 5th of May, customers are eligible for a 50% discount for Skyboss Business service for Australian flights with the promotional code: ASU50SB. This promotion is valid for flights scheduled until 12 December 2023. Similar to a business class tier, the Skyboss Business offers a rather comfortable reclinable seat capable of being adjusted to 180 degrees flat.

Vietjet Vietnam Melbourne Sydney
The Skyboss Business class offers passengers up to 180 degrees reclined seats, providing a more comfortable option for long-haul flights ©VietjetAir

In a meeting held in mid-March, representatives of Vietjet discussed operations details with the Brisbane Airport Corporation. The airline aims to deliver 30,000 passengers to Queensland in its first year of operation in the country.

Brisbane Airport Corporation Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaff:

“Vietnam is a rapidly growing market for Queensland, and we are delighted to have Vietjet join the BNE family. To have Vietnam and the Sunshine State connected for the first time by non-stop flights will deliver benefits in the two countries. This historic new service from Vietjet will enable family and friends in Vietnam easy connect to Queensland.”

Vietjet Air Enters the Fierce Competition for SGN-MEL/SYD

Formerly dominated by flag carrier Vietnam Airlines for over 2 decades, the monopoly was broken by Bamboo Airways, which started operating between Vietnam and Australia early last year. Currently, Bamboo Airways connects cities of Vietnam with Sydney and Melbourne. This makes Vietjet the 4th airline to establish non-stop routes to Australia from Vietnam after Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Australia, and Bamboo Airways.

Vietjet Australia flight SGN-MEL
The passengers of the inaugural flight were given souvenirs to commemorate the airline’s first Australian flight. ©VietjetAir

Free Domestic Connections upon arrival

As part of the “largest Aussie promotion ever” suggested by Vietjet, Australian passengers are entitled to a free domestic transfer to cities within Vietnam. For more details on how to apply for the free flights, click here.

With Vietjet entering the competitive routes between Vietnam and Australia, how do you think the LCC will reshape aviation between the two countries? Let us know below!

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Leo Cheung
Leo Cheung
Aviation Reporter - Born and raised in Hong Kong, Leo has decided to pursue a career in aviation under the influence of the old Kai Tak Airport back in the days. With a degree in aviation, he has joint Travel Radar as an aviation reporter to diversify his views and apply professional knowledge to anyone who is interested in commercial aviation. He regularly contributes articles with 'inside the cockpit' knowledge.
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