The national carrier Vietnam Airlines and Russia’s Aeroflot have begun code sharing on both domestic and international routes in Vietnam and Russia in the aim to enhance connections between several domestic destinations in the two countries and promote stronger commercial ties as Vietnam’s aviation market continues to climb.

The code share agreement, announced by the two carriers on June 11, 2019, comes after the signing of a Memorandum between the two flag carriers in 2018, and Vietnam Airlines’ decision to move its Moscow’s operations from Domodedovo (DME) to Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) starting July 2019.

Flights operated by Vietnam Airlines include: Hanoi - Moscow route (at Sheremetyevo starting July 1), Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang as well as Ho Chi Minh City - Phu Quoc, Nha Trang. Meanwhile, flights operated by Aeroflot include the route of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City - Moscow (Sheremetyevo), and Moscow (Sheremetyevo) - St Petersburg, Ufa and Krasnodar.

Le Hong Ha, Executive Vice President of Vietnam Airlines, stated this: “The commencement of our partnership with Aeroflot allows us to unleash the combined power of our networks and boost our presence in the region.”

Vietnam Airlines already offers three direct flights per week between the two countries’ capitals (Moscow – Hanoi), operated on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Aeroflot operates nine flights per week on routes between Moscow and Vietnam with a daily flight to Hanoi and a twice-weekly service to Ho Chi Minh City.

In the March 2019 announcement of the Memorandum, the Vietnamese carrier commented that the introduction of a code-sharing agreement with Aeroflot, would “expand their [the two countries‘] cooperation across several areas of the busines“, such as increasing passenger volumes as well as economic and trade activities.

The carriers emphasize tourism as one of the main drivers for the expansion of ties between the two national carriers. The Vietnamese carrier states it has transported more than 1.6 million passengers between Vietnam and Russia to date. In 2018, Russia was ranked as the sixth largest source of international visitors to Vietnam; the number of arrivals is predicted to increase to 1 million by 2020.

Vietnam Airlines is one of the major carriers in South East Asia, operating 95 routes to 22 domestic and 29 international destinations with an average of 400 flights per day. According to Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAV) data, Vietnamese airlines transported over 50 million passengers, a 14% increase compared to 2017. The flag carrier flies Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners as well as Airbus A350-900 XWB, A330, and A321 jets.

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