Vietnam Airlines is expanding its route network to India and upgrading its regional fleet operating within Vietnam.
Flag Carrier Eyes New Regional Jets
Vietnam Airlines could be replacing its regional jets in the near future and is currently evaluating the options. Speaking at Routes Asia 2022 in Da Nang, the flag carrier’s CEO Le Hong Ha told journalists that he has been in discussion with aircraft manufacturers and lessors to establish potential deals.
The airline currently operates a fleet of eight ATR72-500 turboprops, which it is looking to retire. According to data from ch-aviation.com, the aircraft have an average age of 12.5 years, and two of the jets are being leased out to Cambodia Angkor Air. The Turboprops are used to serve short runway airports within Vietnam.
Vietnam Airlines are eyeing the Airbus A220 and the Embraer E190/195 as possible replacements. Le Hong Ha says the upgrade will likely occur in late 2023 when Con Dao Airport and Dien Bien Airport are updated to receive aircraft such as the Airbus A320. “That gives us some time to decide on which aircraft to choose.”
Expansion to India
Vietnam Airlines also announced its intentions to expand its route network into India. The airline views the subcontinent as a large untapped market for passenger flights. The carrier began operating regular cargo flights to New Delhi during the pandemic, flying out twice weekly from Hanoi and once a week from Ho Chi Minh.
Starting from mid-June, the airline will be launching its first passenger routes to India. With flights operating from Hanoi to New Delhi thrice weekly and from Ho Chi Minh to New Delhi twice weekly. Provided the new routes are successful, the airline says they will launch more passenger routes to Kolkata and Mumbai.
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