VietJet Air expands India service

Vietnamese low cost carrier (LCC) VietJet has announced a massive expansion to India. The schedule was published by RoutesOnline this morning. The airline will convert its current 4x weekly Ho Chi Minh City – Delhi route and 3x weekly Hanoi – Delhi route to Daily effective 29th March 2020 – the beginning of Summer Schedule.

In addition to this, the airline intends to launch services to Mumbai from Hanoi (3x weekly) from 14th May 2020 and Ho Chi Minh (4x weekly) from 15th May 2020. The airline will also operate flights from Da Nang to Delhi five times a week from 14th May 2020.

Effectively, by mid-May the airline will have 19 weekly departures from New Delhi and 7 weekly departures from Mumbai, a total of 26 weekly departures from India.

The India – Vietnam market has been growing rapidly on the back of increased co-operation in the field of science, defense and few other sectors and tourism remains a prime mover. IndiGo is the only other carrier which operates between India and Vietnam. IndiGo operates Daily from Kolkata to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The airline is moving its flights to red-eye in what looks like a shift in focus from pure Origin – Destination traffic to a hub and spoke model.

Vietjet launched flights to New Delhi in December 2019, after flirting with the market for over two years. This massive expansion is likely to put pressure on IndiGo and it will be interesting to see how the two low cost carriers battle it out in the market and if either of them succumb to the pressure.

Vietnamese market is as congested as the Indian market and faces similar problems, low yields, hyper competition, infrastructure constraints and high growth. With VietJet getting another competition in the form of Bamboo Airways, which has also inducted wide body aircraft – the airline might have looked at building another fort with the Indian market and reducing over reliance on China and Korea.

With a population of 85+ lakhs, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the largest city in Vietnam and is the trade and financial capital. The modern city is served by 50+ passenger airlines and ten cargo airlines.  Hanoi is the capital city and the seat of government. New Delhi is the largest airport in India and has become a regional magnet for aviation in the last few years. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and one of the busiest airports in the world.

The largest markets between India and Vietnam are New Delhi – Ho Chi Minh City, New Delhi – Hanoi, Mumbai – Ho Chi Minh City and Mumbai – Hanoi. The Da Nang – Delhi flight is a surprise package, but Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city and a gateway to ancient town of Hoi An and imperial capital Hue. The coastal town is known for its beach side resorts and attracts tourists from Korea and China.

India – Vietnam traffic was being routed via Thailand and Malaysia along with Singapore. The increased frequencies to India and enhanced connectivity will put pressure on Thai Airlines, Air Asia group and Lion Air group which were offering connections via hubs in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The connectivity between the two countries is going up from no direct flights to 40 weekly frequencies within a span of one year!

The bilateral agreement restricts the service to six major metros to 28 weekly frequencies on each side while 18 destinations in India can be served without restrictions.

Flight Timings

VJ893 SGN1930 – 2250DEL
VJ896 DEL2350 – 0610SGN

VJ971 HAN1800 – 2050DEL
VJ972 DEL2350 – 0445HAN
Both flights will be Daily effective 29th March 2020
VJ831 DAD1815 – 2130DEL

VJ830 DEL2250 – 0520 (+1)DAD

Flights till operate on all days except Tuesdays and Saturdays
Effective 14th May 2020
VJ907 HAN2020 – 2330BOM
VJ910 BOM0035 – 0655HAN

Flights will operate on Tue, Thu and Sat from Hanoi 
and Wed, Fri and Sun from Mumbai 
Effective 14th May 2020
VJ883 SGN1955 – 2330BOM
VJ884 BOM0035 – 0725SGN
Flights will operate on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun from Ho Chi Minh City 
and Mon, Tue, Thu and Sat from Mumbai 
Effective 15th May 2020

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