A Boeing 767 of Air New Zealand (Source: NZ Herald)
Hanoi (VNA) - Air New Zealand on November 13 announced it would fly three times a week to Ho Chi Minh City from next June.

The seasonal route will last to October 2016, and will be extended in the following year.

According to Chief Executive Officer of the Air New Zealand Christopher Luxon, selecting HCM City as a new international destination was in line with the airline’s strategy Pacific Rim focus as the city is more attractive to Kiwi travellers.

The airline will initially use a Boeing 767-300 with 224 seats on the route.

Flight time to Vietnam will be about 11 hours and the country will be popular with travellers who have travelled to Bali and Thailand.

Vietnam is growing in popularity as a holiday destination with the number of New Zealanders with about 15,000 travelling these in the last year. This is expected to grow sharply with Air New Zealand's new services.

Much like Thailand or Bali, Vietnam is becoming a go-to holiday spot for New Zealanders. House of Travel Commercial Director Brent Thomas said with 700 seats per week available over five months, this could amount to around 10,000 Kiwis taking advantage of the new flights to Vietnam.

"We believe the direct flight to Ho Chi Minh is likely to open up the central Vietnam beaches, to become more of a relaxation destination,” he said.-VNA