Vietnam expects to see strong growth from Indian travellers as low cost carrier is expected to open the first direct flight to India, starting April 5.
Tourism from India to Vietnam has been multiplied by eight since 2010. That year, Vietnam was recording just 15,000 Indian travellers. Last year however, first estimation gives a total number of around 110,000 Indian travellers.
Experts now believe that the launch of four weekly services between Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi will help lifting numbers by 30% to 40% as it will shorten flight time to four hours instead of six to eight hours due to a stop in Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
Vietnam largest low cost carrier will fly an Airbus A320 with 180 seats. It hopes to have a load factor of 80%.
Even if India passes this year the 150,000-traveller’s mark, this will still be far behind other Asian countries. By comparison, China generated to Vietnam four million arrivals in 2017 while South Korea was last year number 2 in Vietnam with 2.4 million arrivals.
Vietjet announcement was done in conjunction with the celebration surrounding he 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-India diplomatic relationship and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and India. Vietjet new flight was highlight in presence of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang and senior leaders of Vietnam and India.
More routes should rapidly follow with the most likely flights linking Mumbai to Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi to Hanoi. In the longer term, Bangalore and Chennai will also be linked.
Vietjet is already considering additional services if the Saigon-Delhi route proves successful while Vietnam Airlines already announced to launch before the end of the year flights to India.
Vietnam is easier for Indian travellers to visit. Since 2017, Indian visitors can obtain an e-visa. It takes only three days to receive an electronic visa which allows travellers for a single-entry and to remain for 30 days in the country.