Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, further expanded its global network on Monday with the start of a non-stop, daily service between Dubai and Ho Chi Minh City in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
With the start of flights to Vietnam, the airline’s eighth route launch of 2012, Emirates now operates to 13 cities in 10 countries in the Far East; opening up one of the most popular tourist destinations to the airline’s six continent wide network.
Onboard the inaugural Emirates flight to Ho Chi Minh City were His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Ali Hamad Al Mualla, United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; His Excellency Tran Ngoc Thach, Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to UAE; Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide; Richard Jewsbury, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East & Australasia; Pradeep Kumar, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Cargo Revenue Optimisation & Systems; Hassan Al Hashemi, Director External Relations Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Ngo Khai Hoan, Commercial Counselor Head of the Trade Office of Embassy of Vietnam in the UAE.
“Through Emirates’ non-stop, daily service, Vietnam is now connected via one-stop in our Dubai hub to our global network, which includes 31 destinations in Europe, 22 in Africa, 16 in the Middle East, 11 in North and South America and 19 in the West Asia and Indian Ocean region. We also look forward to opening up a wealth of opportunities in Vietnam for business and leisure travellers from the six continents that our passengers join our flights from,” said Mr Antinori.
“Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most vibrant cities of South East Asia. The city is recognised as the commercial capital of Vietnam, a country that has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and that is why we have chosen this time to add Ho Chi Minh City to our rapidly expanding network. I would like to thank the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam for their support, partnership and vision in ensuring that the launch of Emirates’ services was a success. We look forward to growing our partnership with Vietnam,” continued Mr Antinori.
The inaugural flight, which had passengers onboard from 16 countries spread across Asia, Europe, the USA and the Middle East, was operated by Captain Hamad Al Mazrooei, from the UAE along with First Officer Tran Holm, who was born in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Emirates currently uses an Airbus 330-200 in a two class configuration on the route, with 27 Business Class seats and 251 Economy Class seats. Emirates flight EK 390 departs Dubai International Airport at 0915hrs arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 1935hrs. The return flight EK 391 departs at 2110hrs arriving in Dubai at 0105hrs the following day.
Ho Chi Minh City offers tourists the ideal gateway to explore the wonders of Vietnam, be it the shopping options in the city, the various UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An, the islands of Halong Bay, the beaches of Nha Trang or the floating markets and restaurants of the Mekong River Delta.
Trade between the UAE and Vietnam exceeded US$1.2 billion in 2011 and Emirates, through its cargo arm SkyCargo, will offer shippers a convenient cargo solution, with imports generally being automotive parts and raw materials and exports consisting of garments, footwear and seafood.
Emirates has a fleet of 174 aircraft and is the world’s largest Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 operator. With an order for 50 new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft placed at the Dubai Airshow, Emirates now has 230 aircraft on order, worth over US$84 billion at list prices.
Emirates now flies to 124 destinations in 74 countries. Over the next three months, the airline will launch a further three destinations: Barcelona, Lisbon and Washington, DC.