IndiGo – India’s largest carrier by fleet and domestic market share announce the launch of flights to Vietnam, starting with Kolkata (IATA: CCU) – Hanoi (IATA: HAN) being the first route effective 3rd October. The flights would be operated by the A320 family aircraft and would fly 7 times a week. This will be the only active direct airlink between the two countries.
6E1398 CCU1240 – 1655HAN
6E1399 HAN1755 – 1920CCU
This comes amidst Vietjet having announced its intensions to start flights to New Delhi from Ho Chi Minh City but not having started the flights so far. In the past Jet Airways had tried one stop flights to Vietnam (via Bangkok) but was quick to pull out the services and since then has been code sharing with Vietnamese national carrier Vietnam Airlines, until its suspension in April 2019.
IndiGo has been experimenting with its International flights for the last two years with 2018 seeing the maximum ever expansion by stations and flights on International side, with 11 International stations being operationalized by now since the beginning of 2018.
On the India – Vietnam sector, the largest market is Delhi – Ho Chi Minh City , followed by Mumbai – Ho Chi Minh City and Delhi – Hanoi. The choice of Kolkata over Delhi is surprising, but de-risks IndiGo to a certain extent. The distance between Kolkata and Hanoi is 1,800km, just 130kms more than Kolkata – Mumbai. With strong connectivity to Mumbai and Delhi, the airline can offer competitive pricing on its flights to connect to Hanoi via Kolkata. The Kolkata airport is better equipped for transfers than Chennai.
IndiGo is launching operations at Gaya from 8th August 2019. Jetstar pacific and Vietjet operate seasonal charters to Gaya and IndiGo would aim at getting a slice from that pie with these timings which connect Hanoi to Gaya.
The India – Vietnam market is driven by traders, businessman and leisure travelers. The tourist traffic has been growing at 20% mainly driven by Indian’s. News reports have indicate that Vietnam expects over 200,000 visitors from India in 2019.
India and Vietnam enjoy strong bilateral relations with focus on defense and geo-political issues. The trade has been increasing rapidly and so is tourism with a relatively liberal visa regime for Indians.
Kolkata is the fifth busiest airport in India and sees traffic to Bangladesh and South east Asia. Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and one of the most populous and dense cities in South East Asia.
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and a popular destination with tourists. The Noi Bai International airport has two operational runways is the largest airport by capacity in Vietnam and second busiest airport in Vietnam.
IndiGo has a fleet of 238 aircraft comprising 128 A320ceo, 87 A320neo, 5 A321neo and 18 ATR aircraft.
Vietnam – the land of Pho & Coffee is now closer to India.