Vietnam Airlines - Bringing culture to the world
Since reclaiming Gia Lam Airport from the French over 45 years ago, Vietnams civil aviation industry has grown steadily into one of the countrys most vibrant economic sectors, and the national carrier - Vietnam Airlines is now poised to become a major regional airline.
Vietnams civil aviation started in 1956 with a fleet of only five small aircraft, the first international route was to Beijing, followed by Vientiane in 1976 and Bangkok in 1978.
In April 1989, Vietnam Airlines was established as a state enterprise, and in 1996 Vietnam Airlines Corporation was formed, bringing together several service companies with the airline at its core. The corporation is run by a seven-seat management board whose members are appointed by the prime minister.
Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong were added to our network in the late 1980s and early 1990s, followed by Paris, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Seoul, Osaka, Sydney, Melbourne and Phnom Penh, Siem Reap,Tokyo, Seoul. In November 2001, we launched some new routes from Hanoi to Beijing and Kunming. The reopened route to Moscow and new route to Shanghai have also been planned for winter schedules 2002-2003. Vietnam Airlines now serves to 15 domestic locations and 25 major international cities. We have worked hard to improve and add on-line and code-share destinations in Europe and North America to our rapidly expanding network. Because our scheduling includes numerous connecting flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, we anticipate that more and more passengers will fly with us when travelling within Vietnam. After all, who knows the country better?
Our fleet is one of the youngest in the world, with an average age of slightly more than four year. We now operate a total of 26 aircraft, including 5 Boeing B767-300s, 10 Airbus A320s, 2 Airbus 321s, 2 Fokker 70s and 7 ATR 72s.
We are constantly striving to improve our entire service system. From 1993 to 1996 the average annual increase in passengers and cargo was 35 percent, and by 1997, the international market accounted for over 40 percent of our total business. Even during the regional economic crisis, Vietnam Airlines business remained stable. Last year, we carried about 2.9million passengers and 44,000 tons of cargo.
Continuously Upgraded Service
Vietnam Airlines' service quality has been continuosly improved to meet passenger demands.We launched a business class upgrade program in September 1996, a new frequent flyer program - Golden Lotus Plus in December 1999, a new automatical check-in system - Departure Control System in 2000.
With 19 branch offices and nearly 3,000 agents worldwide, Vietnam Airlines is an increasingly convenient option for travel to and from Asia. And, as of September 1999 when Vietnam Airlines was licensed as a tour operator, you can count on us to arrange all your travel needs in Vietnam.
To make flying Vietnam Airlines even more convenient, we have entered into a partnership with other international airlines around the world, signing co-operative agreements including joint services, revenue pooling and interline traffic.