Vietnam Airlines Targets Australia Expansion

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Australia’s Melbourne Airport is set to gain a new link to Vietnam from June when Vietnam Airlines launches flights from Hanoi.

The carrier has scheduled the start of a route from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to the city in the state of Victoria from June 1, operating twice a week. Service will be on Thursdays and Sundays using a 305-seat Airbus A350-900 aircraft, data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows.

Vietnam Airlines already serves the Melbourne market from Ho Chi Minh City, flying six times per week. Frequencies are scheduled to rise to daily from June. The SkyTeam alliance member also offers daily flights to Sydney from Ho Chi Minh City, as well as a 2X-weekly service from Hanoi.

Once the Hanoi-Melbourne route begins, the airline will provide some 10,980 two-way seats between Vietnam and Australia, up by about 29% on current levels. The figure is also around 19% higher than before the pandemic in 2019.

The planned expansion comes as Vietnamese LCC Vietjet is targeting Australia for the next phase of its growth. The airline debuted in the country on April 8, linking Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne, with a second route from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney starting on April 12. Brisbane will become Vietjet’s third Australian city from June 16 with the launch of a 2X-weekly service from Ho Chi Minh City.

Melbourne Airport chief of aviation Jim Parashos says the increased capacity to Vietnam will boost two-way leisure and VFR traffic, as well as increasing trade opportunities.

“Victorians can’t get enough of visiting Vietnam, it has consistently been one of our top 10 international destinations,” Parashos says. “Victoria is home to a large Vietnamese community, with Melbourne’s vibrant and fast-growing migrant population making the city a key inbound market with Melbourne Airport the natural gateway to Australia.”

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Australia reached a record at $12.4 billion in 2021, data from Vietnam’s General Statistics Office shows, while air freight exports of products from the state of Victoria to Vietnam were valued at $113 million in 2021-22, up 77% on the previous 12 months.

Victoria is also a popular tourism and study destination for visitors from Vietnam. Around 9,500 Vietnamese students are currently enrolled at Victorian institutions—one of the largest international student populations.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.