Competition over the Bangkok-Danang route has begun to heat up as Vietnam Airlines’ inaugural flight from the largest city in central Vietnam touched down in the Thai capital on June 27.
The Vietnamese flag carrier has became the second airline after Bangkok Airways to operate regular non-stop flights on the route, which has emerged as a new high-potential connection between the two countries.
Vietnam Airlines’ launch came one month after Bangkok Airways began operating four flights a week from Bangkok to Danang on May 25.
Meanwhile, VietJet Air, the socialist republic’s low-cost carrier, is also planning to offer regular service over the route later this year, according to industry insiders.
Like Bangkok Airways, Vietnam Airlines offers similar frequencies, at four flights a week, and aircraft capacity.
Vietnam Airlines deploys Airbus 321 jetliners with two different cabin configurations (168 seats in economy class with 16 in business, and 165 in economy with six in business).
Bangkok-Danang is the third route between Thailand and Vietnam served by Vietnam Airlines.
The others are Bangkok-Hanoi and Bangkok-Ho Chi Minh City, each with three flights a day.
With the Bangkok-Danang service, Vietnam Airlines has increased its number of flights between Thailand and Vietnam to 92 a week.
Bangkok-Danang became the airline’s fourth international flight out of Danang, following flights to Siem Reap, Incheon and Tokyo, said Nguyen Minh Toan, the airline’s general manager for Thailand.
The airline offers promotional fares starting from around 4,100 baht for all-inclusive round-trips on the Bangkok-Danang route.
The airline has come up with attractively-priced tour packages that bundle three destinations — Bangkok, Danang and Siem Reap.
Vietnam Airlines, a member of the SkyTeam alliance, operates 91 routes to 20 domestic destinations and 29 international ones, averaging 400 flights a day.
There are 89 aircraft in its current fleet, including the new generation of wide-body jets such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB.