Vietnam Airlines opens HCM City – Bali direct air route hinh anh 1The first flight of Vietnam Airlines, coded VN-641, lands at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines officially launched a direct route connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Indonesia’s Bali on October 27.

The first flight, coded VN-641, carried 175 passengers and departed from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, HCM City at 11:19am. It landed at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali at 15:39pm (local time).

Addressing the launch ceremony, Rahmat Adil Indrawan, Commerce General Director of Persero, which manages I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport, said the opening of the route will contribute to increasing the number of tourists to the island, thus promoting economic cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia.

Director of the Vietnam Airlines representative office in Indonesia Nguyen Minh Toan said Indonesia is an important destination for Vietnam Airlines.

According to Toan, in 2018, more than 100,000 Indonesian tourists visited Vietnam, an increase of 8.4 percent against 2017. So far this year, the figure has reached 70,000, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang expressed his optimism that the new route would positively impact economic and tourism development, and contribute to promoting economic integration in both countries.  

According to statistics from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, the number of Vietnamese tourists visiting Bali recorded strong growth from 2015 - 2018, increasing on average by 26.9 percent each year.

In the first nine months of 2019, 28,695 Vietnamese tourists came to Bali, exceeding the record level of 21,155 visitors set in 2018.

Earlier, Vietnam Airlines announced that it would operate seven HCM City-Bali flights per week. However, between now and the end of March 2020, the airline will operate only five flights weekly.

Flights depart from HCM City at 11.10am and from Bali at 16.50pm (local time) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

This is the second route Vietnam Airlines has launched to Indonesia after the HCM City – Jakarta service that flies seven times per week./.