The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines held a ceremony on December 10 celebrating the 20 th anniversary of its Vietnam-France air service.

Le Dung, chief representative of the carrier in France and Europe, recalled that the airline’s first flight on the Hanoi-Paris route landed at Charles de Gaulle International Airport on July 2, 1994, opening a gateway to the European region.

Initially there were three flights weekly transiting Dubai on the route, which has now become one of Vietnam Airlines’ most important overseas services with 10 direct flights a week.

The airline carries an average of 264,000 passengers each year between Vietnam and France, or around 55 percent of the market. Some surveys showed that almost 80 percent of Vietnamese expatriates in France choose the airline to fly home.

Vietnam Airlines reported an occupancy rate of 87 percent on the route in the first ten months this year.

The carrier is scheduled to use Airbus A350 on the route in October next year, becoming the first foreign airline using the newest model of the giant European aircraft manufacturer, for flights departing from Paris. The move is expected to boost its competitive edge and attract more passengers.-VNA