Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air have been asked to try an air route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City over Laotian and Cambodian airspace from August 29 to September 3.

According to recent correspondence between the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) and the carriers, Vietnam Airlines will use a flight simulator (SIM) for their A321 and B777 aircraft, while VietJet Air will run the simulation on its A320 planes.

This move is part of ongoing efforts following Transport Minister Dinh La Thang’s instruction to launch the route as soon as possible, expecting it to shorten flights between Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports, thus saving fuel.

The CAAV also asked Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air to coordinate their plans to implement the pilot SIM of the route.

The airlines will submit a report to CAAV by September 5, analysing the results of the flight simulation experiment, evaluating the potential costs for customers, and comparing the proposed new route with the current one.

In March 2009, the CAAV received a proposal for the Hanoi-HCM City "golden air route" from former pilot Mai Trong Tuan.

The proposed air route would mean flights between the capital and the southern economic hub will fly over Laotian and Cambodian airspace, rather than over the ocean, following Vietnam's "S" shaped coastline.

Some experts think the new route could shorten flights by 26 minutes, whilst the CAAV and Vietnam Airlines estimate time savings of around 5-7 minutes.

Previously, the Ministry of Transport had submitted a proposal to the Government on conducting further research on the route, also known as the “golden air route”.-VNA