Illustrative image (Source: cbsnews.com)
HCM City (VNA) – Air New Zealand has launched a direct route connecting Auckland in New Zealand to Ho Chi Minh City.

As the first direct route between the two countries, the route will initially operate seasonally, flying three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until the end of October, using a Boeing 767-300.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in HCM City on June 5 , Minister of Economic Development, Education, Skills and Employment of New Zealand Steven Joice described the event as an important milestone in transport cooperation between the two countries, helping enhance connection in tourism, economics and education.

Vietnamese Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia said the route will make air travel between Vietnam and New Zealand easier, contributing to promoting bilateral cooperation, especially in trade, investment and tourism.

Air New Zealand’s chief sales and commercial officer Cam Wallace said the new air route is part of the firm’s plan to expand operations in Southeast Asian countries and a focus in its strategy for the Pacific Rim.

Ho Chi Minh City is the 30th international destination of Air New Zealand. The number of tourists from Vietnam travelling to New Zealand hit 4,000 by late March this year.

The launch of the route comes after Air New Zealand inaugurated new routes from Auckland to Buenos Aires, Argentina, Houston of the US, and Beijing, China last year.

It plans to launch a direct link with Manila of the Philippines in December this year.-VNA