Vietnam Airlines has resumed service between Hanoi and Hong Kong for the first time in almost three years. The carrier will initially operate three flights per week and could up frequencies if Hong Kong further lifts restrictions.
Vietnam Airlines reinstates Hanoi-Hong Kong
Following its return to China earlier this week, Vietnam Airlines will once again operate flights between Hanoi and Hong Kong after suspending the route for almost three years. The airline will restart service with three weekly flights on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.
Flight VN 592 took off from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) at 12:38 today (Dec 11th), arriving at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) at 14:58 after an 80-minute flight. The flight was operated by a three-year-old Airbus A321neo (registration: VN-A509) that can seat up to 203 passengers – eight in business and 195 in economy.
The move comes over two months after Hong Kong authorities eased entry requirements, meaning foreign visitors no longer have to quarantine in a hotel. However, be advised that there are still multiple requirements in place for international visitors, including a pre-flight rapid antigen test and three days of home medical supervision.
More frequencies expected
With an initial offering of three weekly flights, Vietnam Airlines is likely to add frequencies if demand holds up. Data from FlightRadar24.com shows that the airline was operating a daily flight between Hanoi and Hong Kong in January 2020. Ngo Tri Hung, chief of the airline’s branch in Hong Kong, told VietnamPlus that the carrier will consider upping the frequency of flights should Hong Kong ease its COVID protocols further.
Hong Kong International Airport recently formally opened its third runway which will significantly increase its daily capacity as part of a wider $18 billion development plan. The airport revealed that capacity is likely to remain at 60-70% of pre-pandemic levels over 2023, but anticipates a full recovery the year after.
Vietnam Airlines claims it has now reinstated 70% of its pre-pandemic international capacity, operating around 600 international flights per week and growing. As Simple Flying covered this week, Vietnam Airlines resumed China flights after almost three years of COVID-19, initially returning to Guangzhou before relaunching flights to Shanghai from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City next week.
Vietnam itself has not fared well since the world reopened its international borders. Having opened up for international travelers in March, the country has failed to attract travelers en masse – a report by travel analytics firm ForwardKeys projects 77% fewer visitors in 2022 compared to 2019. Interestingly, Hong Kong sits at the bottom of the table with around 95% fewer international visitors than 2019.
Have you traveled to Hong Kong since the pandemic? How have you found the entry process? Let us know in the comments.
Source: VietnamPlus, Travel and Tour World
- 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