Vietnam Airlines has flown its first passenger service between Hanoi and Beijing in more than three years. Flights were paused at the start of the pandemic and resumed on March 19th, 2023, when passengers on the inaugural flight were treated to a welcome ceremony upon landing at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK).
The service resumption will facilitate both business travel and tourism in both directions, which is expected to continue to grow following China’s recent decision to begin reissuing tourist visas. Therefore, while Vietnam Airlines does not currently face competition from any other airline on the route, that is unlikely to be the case for long.
Vietnam Airlines’ long-awaited return to China began back in December 2022, when the carrier operated its first flight to the country since the pandemic, flying from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to Guangzhou (CAN). The airline has since resumed services from Hanoi to Guangzhou and from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Shanghai (PVG).
According to the Vietnamese news site VietnamNet, sources have indicated that Vietnam Airlines is planning to increase capacity to China over the coming weeks by deploying its larger Airbus A350 and Boeing 787s on key routes, although this has not yet been reflected in the carrier’s schedule.
Prior to the pandemic, almost 8 million passengers traveled between the two countries each year. Vietnam Airlines is one of the first major carriers from either of the two nations to rebuild its presence in the important market, but as travel restrictions continue to lift, it is surely only a matter of time before other airlines follow suit.
Source : Simple Flying