After more than two decades of commercial relationships, flag carriers Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation further. Both carriers’ Chief Executive Officers signed the MoU on February 10th, during the ongoing Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum 2023 held in Hanoi.

Expanding on bilateral cooperation

When international border restrictions eased last year, Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines sought opportunities to further expand their bilateral partnership in hopes of enhancing the provision of quality service for their passengers traveling between Singapore and Vietnam.

One particular opportunity was reinstating ramped-up flight frequencies between the two countries, with Vietnam Airlines offering daily flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore. Singapore Airlines returns the favor by offering multiple daily flight services from Singapore to Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350

Photo: Minh K Tran | Shutterstock

While jointly operating more than 62 weekly flights between the two countries is certainly opportunistic, both airlines seek better ways to expand their partnership. And so, under the newly signed MoU, both airlines will initially plan to explore the possibility of codeshare agreements facilitating improved connectivity between Singapore and Vietnam.

The idea of codesharing could eventually be expanded to include other destinations that Singapore Airlines currently serves, opening doors for network expansions, as emphasized by Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines when he highlighted:

“Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines have well-established networks, which can support one another to strengthen the connectivity between the two ASEAN countries and key markets worldwide. These win-win arrangements will offer more options and greater value for our customers, support economic growth, and bolster initiatives that facilitate tourism activities.”

Singapore Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8

Photo: Dr David Sing | Shutterstock

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Adding value for their passengers

Other than the idea of initiating a codeshare agreement, the MoU will also see Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines exploring different areas of commercial cooperation that could help in offering more value and options to their passengers. While it was never detailed what these areas exactly relate to, the possibilities are endless for the two airlines.

These could include loyalty programs, even if both carriers are members of different alliances, or even the mutual exchange of data to better understand the passenger’s overall journey, needs, and wants. There’s also the possibility of exploring joint-ventures or equity investments in another airline.

Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Airlines, Le Hong Ha, added his two cents on the significance of strengthening the relationship with Singapore Airlines, as he highlighted:

“Over many years, Singapore remains one of the most important markets for Vietnam Airlines. We hope to leverage our joint capabilities throughout many commercial fields of our business and therefore provide a seamless experience to our valued customers. This MoU will also build a strong foundation for our future partnership and robust recovery after the pandemic.”

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Vietnam Airlines Airbus A350-941 | VN-A897 - SkyTeam livery

Bottom line

It’s always interesting to see airlines deepen their collaboration because the passengers usually tend to reap the benefits. Lower airfare prices, more flight schedules, and flexible loyalty program earnings, the list goes on.

While the newly signed MoU will undoubtedly see improved benefits for the passengers of both flag carriers, it’ll also likely see new developments like the planned codeshare agreement. What this means for future flight timetables and network changes will certainly be quite interesting to anticipate.

  • Vietnam Airlines Getty
    Vietnam Airlines has a bright future ahead of it, but it has to go through this crisis. Photo: Getty Images

    Vietnam Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)

    Year Founded:


    Lê Hồng Hà


  • Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 (2)

    Singapore Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Singapore Changi Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Goh Choon Phong



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