Air France and Vietnam Airlines are establishing a joint venture for their services between Paris Charles de Gaulle and both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with possibilities for further routes in the future.
Air France and Vietnam Airlines have already been for a long time partner, especially as both carriers belong to the SkyTeam alliance. Both airlines now indicate in a joint statement that the arrangement, effective 1 November, will allow for better onward connections in Europe and Vietnam.
“Our aim is to maintain and develop our position as European leader in this region with very strong growth potential,” states Air France chief executive Franck Terner.
Via three hubs – Hanoi’s Noi Bai, Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat, and Paris CDG – passengers will be able to travel to 50 European destinations on Air France flights (compared with 14 today) and 20 Vietnamese destinations on the local flag carrier’s services.
According to consulting company FlightGlobal, Vietnam Airlines and Air France are the only airlines operating direct services between Vietnam and France. Vietnam Airlines is the sole operator on the Hanoi-Paris route, flying since last year with a brand new Airbus A350-900 up to six times a week. Air France still flies three times a week to Ho Chi Minh City on a Boeing 777-300 with three classes of service. Vietnam Airlines flies also three times a week between Saigon and Paris CDG, using also an Airbus A350-900.
Talking to Reuters, Air France CEO Franck Terner explained that “there is still pressure on prices on routes heading east. The joint venture with Vietnam Airlines will help us to strengthen our position and better mitigate this pressure on prices.”
Air France places its code on 20 Vietnam Airlines services, including the Paris-Hanoi route. It also places its code on services from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to other Vietnamese cities, as well as to the Cambodian destinations of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Vietnam Airlines, for its part, places its code on 30 Air France services, including the Paris-Ho Chi Minh City route. It also places its code on Air France services to destinations in France and Europe.