Etihad Airways launched daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.

Today’s inaugural flight – EY441 – has historic significance as the first ever commercial passenger service between Abu Dhabi and Vietnam’s commercial capital.

Travellers between Abu Dhabi and Ho Chi Minh City can now enjoy the convenience of non-stop flights between the city pair with seamless connections to the airline’s global flight network.

Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said the new Ho Chi Minh City flights would meet strong demand for business and leisure travel and cargo services between Vietnam and the UAE, the Middle East and Europe.

“Vietnam is not only the 13th most populous nation, it is also one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Its commercial capital, Ho Chi Minh City, is a gateway for millions of Vietnamese international travellers and a busy trading hub.

“Our daily services will inject approximately 3,700 new seats a week into the route. This will intensify competition among airlines for business, leisure and VFR travel from Vietnam to Europe and help boost visitor traffic to the UAE and GCC.

Mr Hogan also highlighted the revenue potential of the new services to Vietnam for the airline’s highly successful freight division, Etihad Cargo.

“The United Arab Emirates is Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner and its largest in the Gulf region.

The Abu Dhabi-Ho Chi Minh City flights are operated by an Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 22 seats in Pearl Business Class and 240 in Coral Economy Class.

With the launch of Etihad Airways’ Vietnam flights, its codeshare partner, Vietnam Airlines, will place its VN code on the Abu Dhabi-Ho Chi Minh City sector. This extends the scope of the airlines’ current codeshare agreement.  Etihad Airways already has its EY code on Vietnam Airlines’ flights from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Vietnam Airlines has its VN code on Etihad Airways’ flights from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to Abu Dhabi and luxury coach services from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Dubai.