30 Seconds with Vietnam Airlines
The Vietnamese market is growing fast and Vietnam Airlines’ new London service further helps the development, but how will the leading carrier in the market, the national airline and SkyTeam member, continue to develop its network? In order to find out, anna.aero spoke to Vietnam Airlines’ president and CEO Dr Pham Ngoc Minh in combination with the airline’s launch of flights to anna.aero’s local airport London Gatwick.
anna.aero: Except for increasing frequencies to London, which new markets are you looking at when you start receiving deliveries from your large widebody aircraft orders?
Dr Minh: Intercontinental expansion is challenging right now. London is a big project for us for the time being. We expect to start receiving our 19 787-9 on order in the second quarter of 2015 and intend to use them to Europe, Australia and the US West Coast. I can say that destinations we are interested in are West Coast US and Berlin [which has a very large Vietnamese population], but I do not want to give any fixed dates in the current volatile market.
anna.aero: Garuda Indonesia is set to become a SkyTeam partner of yours. Do you see increased potential in the Indonesian market for Vietnam Airlines because of this?
Dr Minh: We already have a good relationship with Garuda Indonesia, especially after the airline got its IOSA certification. In the near term, we do not see potential for us in the Indonesian market beyond continuing our code-share partnership with Garuda Indonesia.
anna.aero: In Moscow, you serve Domodedovo Airport rather than Sheremetyevo that is your alliance partner Aeroflot’s hub. Are you looking to move to gain connectivity?
Dr Minh: We used to serve Sheremetyevo until 2003 when we moved over to Domodedovo in the interest of our passengers because of a poor service level offered at Sheremetyevo. While we are happy with the service at Domodedovo, we might possibly move back and are surveying the current service quality at Sheremetyevo.