Vietnam Airlines was established in 1956, later becoming Vietnam’s national flag carrier in 1993. The airline initially served only domestic destinations but now offer regular scheduled departures across Asia as well as further afield to Europe, North America and Australasia.
The airline is now based in Hanoi with a fleet of around 80 aircraft and is a part-owner of Jetstar Pacific Airlines amongst others.
Routes served by Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines offer a huge range of departures across almost the whole of Asia, although the highest frequency of flights are still those within Vietnam. For example, there are around 25 flights each today between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). This two hour journey usually costs around VND1,100,000 each way.
Most popular domestic flights
Other popular routes include flights from Hanoi or HCMC to the beach cities of Da Nang and Nha Trang, with Vietnam Airlines offering approximately 15 flights to both destinations each day.
Hue is also well-connected to Vietnam’s two largest cities, with three or four flights per day making the trip, which is usually priced at around VND500,000 from either Hanoi or HCMC.
Most popular international flights
Vietnam Airlines is a great option for those looking to visit soother counties across Southeast Asia. Regional hubs such as Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are just three hours from HCMC and around 4 ½ hours from Hanoi.
There is one daily flight from both Hanoi (at 14.45) and HCMC (at 15.05) to Kuala Lumpur each day, which usually costs around VND1,600,000 from either city.
If you’re staying in Hanoi then you can jump on a Vietnam Airlines flight to Laos. There is one flight per day connecting Hanoi and Luang Prabang, leaving at 11.40 and costing around VND2,000,000. There are also two daily departures to Vientiane from Hanoi, with tickets priced at around VND1,700,000. It’s also possible to fly to Laos from HCMC, but you all need to change at Hanoi.
Nearby Thailand is one of the most popular counties in the region for tourists and is easily accessible from both Hanoi and HCMC. From both airports there are usually three direct flights to Bangkok per day, with fares typically priced at VND800,000 from Hanoi and VND1,500,000 from HCMC.
There are some destinations that you cannot visit directly from Hanoi and you will instead need to change at HCMC during the journey. Jakarta and Manila are examples of this, if you wish to travel to either of these cities from Hanoi then you’ll need to transfer to a connecting flight. There is one flight per day leaving HCMC for Jakarta at 09.50 and is usually priced at around VND2,000,000. Similarly, there is one daily departure from HCMC to Manila, which is often more expensive at approximately VND4,000,000.
Vietnam Airlines also offer flights to China, Japan and South Korea. There is one direct departure every day to Shanghai from both Hanoi and HCMC, often costing in excess of VND5,000,000. If you’re planning on travelling from Vietnam to Japan then you’ll be pleased to hear that there is one direct flight per day from Hanoi to Tokyo. Visitors to Seoul have the option of two direct flights each day from Hanoi and one for HCMC, with tickets usually priced at around VND5,500,000.
For any travellers wanting to head further afield, or those from other countries eager to visit Vietnam, then Vietnam Airlines is an ideal option. There are a wide range of flights to European capitals including London, Paris and Moscow from both Hanoi and HCMC, although you may have to catch a connecting flight in some cases. There are even two flights per day from Hanoi heading for New York, requiring you to transfer onto a connecting flight.
Vietnam Airlines is the national carrier, so you can be assured that standards will be very high and the airline has a long-established, excellent reputation.
Compared to many other national airlines, Vietnam Airlines offer very well-priced fares which make domestic and international travel accessible to travellers on all budgets. In addition, the luggage allowances on Vietnam Airlines flights are very generous when compared to some other airlines operating on some of the same routes. It’s always worth researching fares as the overall cost may work out cheaper than with a budget airline as luggage is included.
Also, food and drink is included on Vietnam Airlines flights, something that will be a pleasant surprise to travellers used to budget operators!
Those used to travelling with some of the more well-known national Asian airlines may find Vietnam Airlines a little basic in comparison. However, the price is likely to be far lower than some of these more luxurious airlines so you may still consider it a good investment, especially if you’re on a budget.
Keep in mind
In June 2017, Vietnam Airlines was ranked in the top 50 World’s Best Airlines at the SKYTRAX 2017 World Airline Awards. The airline was ranked ahead of many other long-established carriers which reflect the popularity of Vietnam Airlines!
Customers of Vietnam Airlines are usually pleased with the value for money offered from these flights. The range of departures and destinations, added to the relatively low fares, mean that many customers keep returning to Vietnam Airlines as one of their first choices when travelling around the region.
As mentioned above, the aircraft can sometimes seem a little basic in comparison to some of the more luxurious Asian airlines. In addition, customer service can sometimes be slightly below par. However, many customers feel that the low costs of tickets mean that flights are still good value.
Although domestic flights are sometimes higher than fares with budget airlines, the international flights are very competitively priced and therefore excellent value for those visiting from Europe and other western countries.