Etihad Airways, the national flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched a direct flight between Vietnam’s southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City and Abu Dhabi, on expectation of tapping the revenue potential for the airline’s highly successful freight division, Etihad Cargo, reported Vietnam News Briefs.
The airline uses Airbus A330-200 aircraft with a capacity of 22 business-class and 240 economy-class seats for the daily flights, said Etihad Airways chairman and CEO James Hogan.
Hogan said that the flights would help strengthen tourism and business activities between Ho Chi Minh City and the UAE, the Middle East and the EU and boost the volume and value of trade between the UAE and Vietnam.
He hoped that the new services would also support the UAE government’ investment in infrastructure, energy, construction and tourism projects in Vietnam – with a current value of more than US$3 billion – and encourage more similar ventures in the future.
The United Arab Emirates is Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner and its largest in the Gulf region. Exports from Vietnam to the UAE exceeded $2 billion for the first time in 2012, up 82 percent from 2011, and are forecast to exceed $4 billion in 2013.