Etihad Airways will launch daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s commercial capital and most populous city, in October 2013.
Ho Chi Minh City will become Etihad Airways’ sixth destination within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, joining Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore.
In conjunction with Etihad Airways’ partner airlines, the new Ho Chi Minh City service extends the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s total flight network reach to 21 ASEAN destinations.
According to the airline, its new service to Ho Chi Minh City will meet growing demand from Vietnam’s rapidly expanding economy and will support the country’s increasing commercial ties with the United Arab Emirates, and in particular Abu Dhabi.
“We are delighted to announce the introduction of Ho Chi Minh City to the Etihad Airways’ global flight network,” says James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive officer. “Like our home-base of Abu Dhabi, it is a vibrant, culturally rich and expanding city popular with business and leisure travelers.”
Hogan adds: “The route will be ideal to carry passengers and cargo point to point from the United Arab Emirates, as well as from Etihad Airways destinations across the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America.”
Etihad Airways says the new service will further support joint UAE and Vietnam government ventures in areas of energy, infrastructure, tourism, and civil construction. UAE investment in Vietnam now stands at more than US$3 billion and two-way trade revenue at approximately US$1.3 billion.
The airline’s daily service between Abu Dhabi and Ho Chi Minh City will begin on October 1, 2013 and Etihad will operate the route with two-class Airbus A330-200 widebodies.
Each A330-200 will have 22 Pearl Business Class seats and 240 Coral Economy Class seats, giving Etihad Airways a total 3,668 seats per week on the route.
Etihad Airways’ codeshare with Vietnam Airlines (in place since last October) already provides Etihad Airways passengers with daily connections through Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
To date in 2012, Etihad Airways has also announced the launch of non-stop flights to Sao Paulo, Washington, D.C., Addis Ababa and Ahmedabad.
These cities are part of the airline’s 10-year network growth plan which will see Etihad Airways fly to up to 100 destinations with a fleet of more than 150 aircraft by 2020.