Jetstar is to resume direct Australia-Vietnam flights with the launch of nonstop services from Sydney and Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City.
The Qantas-owned low-cost carrier has announced plans to begin services to Vietnam’s most populous city from May with Boeing 787-8s.
The inaugural flight is scheduled to take off on May 10 from Melbourne, Jetstar said on Thursday, with Sydney-Ho Chi Minh City services set to commence on May 11. There will be four flights a week from Sydney, while Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City will be served three times a week.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines is the only nonstop carrier between Australia and Vietnam, with daily services to both Melbourne and Sydney from its Ho Chi Minh City hub. In December, Australia became an all Boeing 787 destination for the Vietnamese airline after it switched both its Melbourne and Sydney services to the aircraft.
Qantas, which owns 100 per cent of Jetstar Australia and New Zealand, places its QF airline code on Vietnam Airlines’ two Australian routes.
Further, Qantas and Vietnam Airlines are joint shareholders in Jetstar Pacific, with the Australian company holding a 30 per cent stake in the Vietnam-based LCC and Vietnam Airlines owning the remaining 70 per cent.
Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka described Vietnam as one of the fastest growing holiday destinations in South East Asia.
Hrdlicka said travellers on the new flights to Ho Chi Minh City would be able to explore the rest of Vietnam through Jetstar Pacific’s domestic network.
“Vietnam has the potential to become as popular as Bali or Thailand for Australian travellers,” Hrdlicka said in a statement.
“From Ho Chi Minh City, travellers can fly to 15 other destinations within Vietnam on Jetstar Pacific, which offers the same low fares that Australians have come to expect from Jetstar.”
According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 69,500 visitors to Australia from Vietnam in the 12 months to November 2016, up 21 per cent from 57,400 in the prior corresponding period.
Meanwhile, some 248,200 Australian residents travelled to Vietnam in the year to November 2016, an increase of 2.3 per cent from the 242,700 in the prior year, the ABS figures showed.
Hrdlicka said Jetstar’s nonstop flights to Vietnam would help boost inbound tourism to Australia.
“The growing middle class in Vietnam has made it one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world,” Hrdlicka said.
The new route will start three months after Jetstar ends its four times a week Boeing 787-8 Melbourne-Tokyo Narita service at the end of February. Qantas resumed nonstop flights between Melbourne and Tokyo Narita in December.
Flight schedules of the proposed Melbourne and Sydney to Ho Chi Minh flights
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival
JQ63 Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
JQ64 Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne
Monday, Wednesday, Sunday
JQ61 Sydney-Ho Chi Minh City
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday
JQ62 Ho Chi Minh City-Sydney
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Source: Jetstar website