Luc Ngan ‘thieu’ litchi served on Vietnam Airlines’ flights hinh anh 1Litchi is served to business-class and premium-class passengers on Vietnam Airlines' flights. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has served Luc Ngan ‘thieu’ litchi, a specialty of the northern province of Bac Giang, to business-class and premium-class passengers on its flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and international flights departing from the two cities.

As part of the airline’s long-term programme project “Bon mua trai cay – Bon mua yeu thuong” (Four seasons of fruit - four seasons of love), the move showed the national flag carrier’s efforts to promote seasonal farming specialties and traditional products of Vietnam to its domestic and foreign passengers.

Meanwhile, the programme is a chance for Vietnam Airlines to expand cooperation with businesses and localities nationwide in promoting Vietnamese farm produce to the world.

To meet the standard on food hygiene and safety, Vietnam Airlines has paid due attention to the origin of fruits served on its flights. The carrier sources the litchi from gardens cultivated in line with Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) standards in Luc Ngan district, Bac Giang province.

Thanks to strength in fruit production along with the application of international high quality processing technology, Luc Ngan ‘thieu’ litchi is favoured on overseas markets thanks to its good taste. In recent years, many foreign markets like the United States, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Singapore have imported the fruit.

To ensure the litchi is fresh to serve passengers, a strict harvest process and examinations for the fruit are required. Litchi must be reaped early in the morning, and within one hour after being picked, the fruit is soaked in cold water temperature at 2-4 degrees Celsius in two minutes.

Then, the litchi is assorted and packed in cool boxes, and transported to the Noi Bai Air Catering Service Company. At the company, the fruit is selected again to ensure the quality and food safety and hygiene before getting on board.

Over the past year, Vietnam Airlines has introduced and served some kinds of Vietnam’s specialties such as Hung Yen longan, Hoa Binh’s Cao Phong orange, Hoa Loc mango, Tay Ninh yellow melon and Binh Thuan dragon. By using seasonal fruits, the carrier aims to promote and improve the value of Vietnamese brands on the international stage, as well as adding a bit of special flavour to its in-flight meals.

From the special traditional dish “pho” (noodle soup) to seasonal fruits, Vietnam Airlines is making efforts to combine its four-star services with Vietnam’s traditional culture when expanding its network worldwide.

Vietnam Airlines has been a leading carrier in the country in the past two decades. Last year, it conducted 140,000 flights carrying 22 million passengers. The corporation earned a record pre-tax profit of over 3.15 trillion VND (135.1 million USD), surpassing the yearly target by 92.6 percent and posting a year-on-year increase of 21.3 percent.

The parent company raked in more than 64.9 trillion VND in revenue and 1.9 trillion VND in pre-tax profit, exceeding the set target by 52 percent and registering a year-on-year rise of 11.7 percent.

Vietnam Airlines maintained its four-star rating by Skytrax for two consecutive years. Skytrax also placed the Vietnamese airline 14th among 20 carriers offering the world’s best premium economy class experience in 2017.

The on-time performance index (OTP) reached 90.2 percent for departures and 83.2 percent for arrivals, putting Vietnam Airlines among the top 10 airlines with the best OTP in the globe.

In 2017, Vietnam Airlines continued receiving national and international recognition with a number of prestigious awards, most notably being listed on the 10 strongest brands of Brand Finance.

Vietnam Airlines, a member of SkyTeam alliance, operates 90 routes to 20 domestic and 29 international destinations with an average of 400 flights per day.-VNA