New airline to strengthen Vietnam ties

A new international airline will commence direct flights to Vietnam out of Melbourne Airport, in a sign the travel industry is picking up from the pandemic.

Bamboo Airways will fly twice-weekly between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City from April next year, increasing to four flights a week and adding non-stop services to Hanoi.

In 2019 more than 53,000 visitors to Victoria were from Vietnam, a figure that had grown by about a quarter each year since 2014 until the pandemic hit.

The country is also one of Victoria’s top export markets, with the value of goods reaching $695 million in 2020-21.

One of the largest international student cohorts in the state is also from Vietnam, with about 8000 Vietnamese students currently enrolled at Victorian schools and universities.

Victorian Trade Minister Martin Pakula said the new airline would support thousands of jobs in Melbourne’s aviation industry and along the supply chain.

“Attracting new international airlines to Melbourne is an important way we are investing in our economic recovery,” he said.

Bamboo Airways was established in 2017, and flies planes from France’s Airbus Group as well as Dreamliner aircraft from Boeing.

The Victorian Government is also opening a new trade office in Ho Chi Minh City.

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