Vietnam Airlines is stepping up its flying out of Da Lat in southern Vietnam. From July 2, the airline will begin flying to Can Tho from Da Lat. Shortly after, new routes between Da Lat and Hue and Da Lat and Thanh Hoa will begin. The new flights are aimed at improving connectivity and trade between Vietnams’ provinces and cities.
It follows close on the heels of the airline launching three new routes from Can Tho in June. Two other new routes are also on the cards to launch later in July. Vietnam Airlines will start flying nonstop between Da Nang and Phu Quoc Island and Thanh Hoa province. When the rollout of new routes is complete, Vietnam Airlines will be operating around 320 flights a day across 57 domestic routes.
The nitty-gritty of the new flights
Passengers looking to jump on a flight between Can Tho and Da Lat will have the choice of three services a week. Vietnam Airlines VN1480 will push back at Can Tho at 11:45 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Flying time is one hour and 20 minutes. The return flight from Da Lat operates on the same days. Vietnam Airlines VN1481 departs at 13:45. The service between Can Tho and Da Lat will be operated by an ATR 72.
The new flights between Hue and Da Lat will be on a bigger plane. An A321 will operate the thrice-weekly service. Vietnam Airlines VN1971 will leave Hue at 14:35 on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays, arriving into Da Lat at 15:50.
The flight heading to Hue seems to be more erratically timetabled. There are regular departures on Mondays, being VN1970 pushing back at 12:40. There are also some ad hoc departures on some Wednesdays across July. It may be a case of the entire forward schedule not being loaded in the system yet.
There is also no information available on the Vietnam Airlines website regarding the schedules of the new flights between Da Lat and Thanh Hoa.
Vietnam Airlines domestic operations bounce back
After initially canceling flights, suspending routes, and grounding planes, Vietnam Airlines’ domestic operations have been bouncing back. Vietnam appears to have dodged a bullet with the first wave of COVID-19. The country has only reported 355 cases or four cases per million people. That encouraged Vietnam Airlines to get back into the saddle as far back as May.
In the first half of April, Vietnam Airlines was operating just three domestic return flights a day. One flight went between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The other two flew between Hanoi and Na Dang and Ho Chi Minh City and Na Dang.
But one month later, in May, Vietnam Airlines began beefing up their domestic schedules. By that stage, the airline was already operating 17 return flights a day on the critical route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. That would creep up further to 23 daily return services by the latter half of May.
By June, Vietnam Airlines expected to be back operating its full domestic schedule. Arguably, they’d be one of the few airlines in the world doing that. They are also taking the opportunity to launch new routes like these services out of Da Lat. It is good to see airline activity in at least one country coming back strongly.