Vietnam Airlines announce that the first ever non-stop service from the UK to Vietnam commenced on, Friday 9 December 2011 with the departure of its inaugural flight, VN144 from London to Hanoi, departing from Gatwick Airport. The historic occasion was marked by a series of events at Gatwick Airport and in central London on the day of the launch.
On Friday morning, passengers at Gatwick Airport were treated to a Vietnamese stage show, bringing the vibrant colours and sounds of Vietnam to the airport’s North Terminal. This was followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open Vietnam Airlines’ check-in desks for the first time,
The new flights have been introduced in response to growing demand and interest in Vietnam amongst UK travellers. Dr Minh, president and CEO of Vietnam Airlines told TravelPlus, “There is no question that there is potential and a determination to bring the partnership between Vietnam and the UK to a new level. And direct air services, I believe, can definitely deliver enormous economic and social benefits. With London now on the list, we have expanded our route network to 28 international destinations. Vietnam will now seem so much closer for UK travellers, with flight times cut to 12 hours”. Vietnam Airlines plans to increase the frequency of services, and intends to operate the B787 Dreamliner on the route in due course.
The flights will depart from Gatwick four times a week, with two weekly departures to Hanoi and two to Ho Chi Minh City. They will be the first ever direct flights between the two countries, saving up to seven hours on journey times.