Vietnamese carriers have been rapidly growing in India and looking to capitalize on the post-pandemic market.

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787
Photo: Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock

Vietnam Airlines is boosting flights to India, moving from five times weekly to daily services to New Delhi. The capital will be served from both of Vietnam’s cities, with four weekly flights from Hanoi and three from Ho Chi Minh. The move comes as VietJet takes an aggressive growth strategy in India, planning five destinations from four Vietnamese cities, including Phu Quoc and Da Nang.

Catching up

According to Saigon News, Vietnam Airlines plans to increase its flight services to India by 30% effective March 26th. Currently, the flag carrier offers three weekly from Hanoi (HAN) and two from Ho Chi Minh (SGN) to New Delhi (DEL), first launched in June 2022. Now, the airline is upping flights, serving Delhi daily by adding one weekly flight from HAN (4x weekly) and one from SGN (3x weekly).

Both routes are being served by the airline’s Airbus A321s. The revised schedule is below, all times local:

  • VN971: Departs HAN at 19:05 and arrives in DEL at 22:05 (4 hours and 30 minutes) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
  • VN970: Departs DEL at 23:35 and arrives back in HAN at 05:40 (+1 day) (4 hours and 35 minutes) – Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
  • VN977: Departs SGN at 18:25 and lands in DEL at 22:05 (5 hours and 10 minutes) – Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
  • VN976: Departs DEL at 23:35 and lands in SGN at 06:25 (5 hours and 20 minutes) – Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday
Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321
Photo: Soos Jozsef / Shutterstock

The change means that Vietnam Airlines now offers the same number of flights to Delhi as budget carrier VietJet Air. The low-cost carrier also flies from both HAN and SGN but with flipped frequencies, three from Hanoi and four from Ho Chi Minh. However, while Vietnam Airlines’ schedule ends here, VietJet is only getting started.

It is worth noting that the flag carrier is mulling an entry to Mumbai next, India’s second-largest hub and a lucrative one. VietJet has already set the stage and new routes could be on the table in a matter of months.

VietJet wants Indian tourists

Emerging from the pandemic bruised, Vietnam and VietJet Air quickly moved to expand into international markets. India is a natural target, with a growing population that can afford foreign travel and routes under five hours. Vietnam quickly wanted to grow as big as Thailand and Singapore have. While this wouldn’t be easy, budget carriers have paved the way well.

However, the strategy doesn’t just center around the hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. VietJet is experimenting with resort destinations as well. The carrier now offers direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Da Nang, a stunning holiday city that previously saw few Indian tourists due to low connectivity. The airline has done the same with Phu Quoc, also known as Pearl Island, opening the Indian market to popular, non-hub Vietnamese cities.

Airbus A330 of VietJet Air with registration VN-A811 with Petrolimex livery prepare for take off at Tan Son Nhat international airport.

Photo: Seven43/Shutterstock

It’s not only non-hubs in Vietnam VietJet is targeting. It’s quickly moving to more Indian cities too. The carrier has already launched flights from Ahmedabad to HAN and SGN. In December, the carrier found itself in hot water after selling tickets on routes from Bangalore and Hyderabad, only to cancel at the last minute due to “operation challenges.” Indeed, the carrier had not secured rights and schedules for the new routes in advance, leaving furious passengers.

However, expect to see routes only grow in the near future as VietJet embarks on a global expansion with Australia and New Zealand on one end and South Asia on the other.

What do you think about Vietnamese airlines expanding in India? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Saigon News

  • 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



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