Cebu Pacific, the national flag carrier of the Philippines , has recently launched its direct service from Manila to Hanoi with two flights per week.

The opening of the air route marks a very important milestone for Cebu Pacific as it becomes the only airline flying direct between Manila and Hanoi , said a Cebu Pacific representative at a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on March 21.

The direct route is also a step forward of the airline to the Vietnamese market and strengthening linkages between major cities in Southeast Asia , he added.

In April 2008, Cebu Pacific inaugurated the Manila-HCM City direct route and is now operating daily flights between the two cities.

According to Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism La Quoc Khanh, the opening of the Manila-Hanoi route and the upgrading of the Manila-HCM City flights have helped boost economic-trade cooperation and open up many business and investment opportunities between Vietnam and the Philippines .

Together with aviation and tourism cooperation, Manila is speeding up cultural and artistic exchanges with Vietnamese major cities, with two friendship concerts in HCM City on March 21 and in Hanoi on March 19.-VNA