VietJet, a low-cost airline from Vietnam, is planning to launch direct flights between Laos and Vietnam in the near future.
While the airline has not made an official announcement yet, a recent post on AeroLaos, Laos’ leading aviation-focused Facebook page, suggests that this move is in the works.
VietJet operates A320 and A321 aircraft, capable of carrying 180 to 230 passengers to various international destinations, including China, Taiwan, Singapore, and other Asian countries. The airline currently operates up to 400 flights daily.
Although the specific route has not been disclosed, a source close to VietJet says the initial flight route will be between Vientiane Capital, Laos, and Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi in Vietnam, as they are renowned as top travel destinations in Asia.
The flight route is set to start by the fourth quarter of this year, or the start of next year, and is to be followed by flights between Laos and Da Nang and Phu Quoc in Vietnam.
Notably, Laos received more than 398,000 visitors from Vietnam in the first half of 2023, which suggests that VietJet’s decision to offer affordable air travel between the two countries is likely to be well-received. This move also aligns with the airline’s strategy to tap into Laos’ growing ambition to develop its tourism industry.
Mr. Ounthuang Khaophan, the Deputy Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, has declared 2024 as the “Year of Tourism” for Laos, with the goal of attracting over 2.7 million visitors in the coming year. To achieve this, the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism is working in collaboration with central and local authorities to plan a diverse range of activities at both regional and national levels.
As the Lao tourism industry gradually recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, international airlines are actively seeking opportunities to enter this emerging market. For instance, Thai Airways resumed direct flights between Vientiane Capital, Laos, and Bangkok, Thailand, on August 15, following the route’s cancellation in December 2021. The airline replaced the previously operated Thai Smile Airways route with larger A320 aircraft from Thai Airways.