A direct air route between Vietnam and the UK will help turn Vietnam into a larger market, providing a gateway for visitors from the UK to Indochina, said a UK airlines executive.

At a seminar in London on July 7 to introduce Vietnam Airlines direct air route to the UK , which will officially launch on December 8, Managing Director of UK Alternative Airlines John Pope said direct flights will help travelers to save much time for transit, predicting a surge in the number of visitors from the UK to Vietnam .

Vietnam Airlines planned to use Boeing B777-200ER to transport passengers and cargo between Vietnam and the UK , with two flights from Hanoi and two others from Ho Chi Minh City a week to Gatwick airport, 48km from London .

At the seminar, which was attended by representatives from travel agencies from both countries, Vietnam Airlines representative Nguyen Sy Thanh introduced the airlines’ current services to the world market and future ones to the UK , as well as Vietnam ’s tourism potential.

The new route is expected to actively promote tourism and business travel between Vietnam and the UK .

In 2010, about 100,000 visitors from the UK came to Vietnam and the number is expected to increase in the coming time.

Vietnam and the UK established their strategic partnership in last September and their two-way trade value reached over 2 billion USD.

The UK was the third largest European Union investor in Vietnam , with total investment of 3 billion USD./.