Vietjet launches direct flights from HCMC to Vientiane

Monday, 26/02/2024 18:20
Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet Air inaugurated a new route connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Vientiane (Laos) on February 25, expanding opportunities for economic development, tourism, and cultural exchange between the two neighbouring countries, Vietnam and Laos, said the Vietnam News Agency.
Bounteng Symoon, Deputy Director General of the Lao Civil Aviation Administration, and Nguyen Thanh Son, Vietjet Vice President, and delegates conduct the rite to launch the new route at Wattay airport in Vientiane (Photo: courtesy of Vietjet)

Souvannaseng Amphay, Deputy Consul General of Laos in Ho Chi Minh City, along with leaders from the Department of Civil Aviation of Laos, airports, Lao Airlines, locals and tourists participated in the opening ceremony and congratulated Vietjet on the launch of new route.

The Ho Chi Minh City - Vientiane route serves passengers with four return flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, providing a complete flying experience to the "Land of a Million Elephants" in just 1 hour and 45 minutes of flying.

Nguyen Thanh Son, Vietjet Vice President shared: "The route connecting Ho Chi Minh City with Vientiane not only shortens the travel time between Vietnam and Laos but also expands Vientiane's connections to destinations in the region and the world via Vietjet's international flight network."

Nguyen Thanh Son, Vietjet Vice President (fourth from right) presents flower and gifts
to the first passengers on the inaugural flight (Photo: courtesy of Vietjet)

Vientiane is both the capital and the largest city, the political and economic centre of Laos, located on the banks of the Mekong River with its picturesque beauty, ancient charm, famous architectural landmarks, temples, pagodas, local festivals, and unique cuisines. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City is a prominent economic, cultural, and tourist centre with distinctive cultural features, a vibrant modern lifestyle, and convenient connectivity to various destinations in Vietnam and internationally.

Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. As Vietnam’s largest private carrier, the airline has been awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website and listed as one of the world's 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in many consecutive years. The airline has also been named as Best Low-Cost Carrier by renowned organisations such as Skytrax, CAPA, Airline Ratings, and many others.

Vietnam’s top tennis player triumphs at M15 event in Thailand

Defeating Sander Jong of the Netherlands 2-1 in the men’s singles final of the M15 Nakhon Si Thammarat Tournament 2024 in Thailand on March 25, Vietnam's top tennis player Ly Hoang Nam became the champion of the circuit.

This marks Nam's 11th championship title in his career at the Men's Future circuit organised by the International Tennis Federation.

Vietnam's top tennis player Ly Hoang Nam (Photo: Ly Hoang Nam's facebook)

The achievement brought the Vietnamese player, who is world No. 549, 10 bonus points on the Men's Tennis ATP Rankings.

The M15 Nakhon Si Thammarat is part of the ITF World Tennis Tour M15.

Vietnam - one of Asia’s fastest growing cinema markets: US news site, a US premier news source covering the business of entertainment, including movies, television, online, digital and related areas, has described Vietnam as one of Asia’s fastest-growing cinema markets.

In an  article entitled “How Vietnam Has Become One Of Asia’s Fastest Growing Markets With New Multiplexes, A Movie-Hungry Audience & Vibrant Local Film Biz” published on February 23, Liz Shackleton wrote that some Vietnamese film-makers shared their views to draw a positive bright outlook for Vietnam’s film industry.

According to the article, although the previously state-run industry only opened its doors 10-15 years ago, box office was growing at a steady clip of 10% annually before the pandemic, overtaking Thailand, which has a much more developed and longer-established film industry.

The Lunar New Year is a key box office period in several Asian territories, but nowhere was it more hotly contested this year than in Vietnam, where several local, Japanese and Hollywood movies were slugging it over the week-long holidays (February 9-15), it said.

Tran Thanh’s Mai, a romantic drama that delves into the psychology of its female protagonist, was the clear winner — at the time of writing it was topping the box office with a haul of 400 billion VND (16.4 million USD). Produced by Tran Thanh Town and CJ HK Entertainment, a joint venture between the Republic of Korea’s CJ ENM and local outfit HKFilm, the film has the potential to break the record set by Tran Thanh’s own The House of No Man, released this time last year, which is Vietnam’s highest ever grossing film with 476 billion VND (19.4 million USD).

A scene in "Dao, Pho and Piano" film (Photo:

Last year, Vietnam’s box office reached 150 million USD, or around 90% of pre-pandemic levels, from a total of 1,100 screens. Not bad for a market that in 2010 only had 90 screens and annual revenue of less than 15 million USD.

The growth is due to a few factors, but one of the biggest is the multiplex building programmes undertaken by Korean exhibitors CJ CGV and Lotte Cinema, along with local studios Galaxy Cinema and BHD Star Cineplex, the site said.

Recently, Vietnam has also seen the emergence of hip new cinema chains, such as Beta Cinemas and Cinestar, which offer lower ticket prices aimed at students and middle-income cinema-goers.

Also driving the market is a lively local production sector that is experimenting with new genres and making a wider range of films - again an achievement considering that private companies were only allowed to start producing in the mid-2000s.

The RoK’s CJ ENM and Lotte are also active in financing and producing Vietnamese-language movies - CJ with films such as Mai and The House Of No Man and Lotte with titles including Le Van Kiet’s 2019 action film Furie and Victor Vu’s recent period drama The Last Wife.

“It’s a very young audience - we estimate that up to 80% are under the age of 29,” said CJ HK Distribution Supervisor Nguyen Tuan Linh.

“So that age group is dictating the tastes of the market: Local romance, comedy and horror as well as movies from the RoK, Thailand and Indonesia.”

Justin Kim, CJ ENM’s Head of International Film Production, added that it’s also a demanding and unforgiving audience: “They’re very active on social media, especially TikTok and Instagram, and will react quickly if they think the quality of a movie is not so good.”

Ha Long Bay among world’s top 25 best natural destinations

Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel guidance platform, has announced the Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Destinations 2024, naming Ha Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh in list of best natural destinations for 2024, said Radio the Voice of Vietnam.

According to the rankings, the UNESCO-recognized natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay was placed second in the list.

Tripadvisor shared that travelers visit Ha Long Bay to enjoy an up-close look at its amazing limestone islands, rock formations, and caves.

Ha Long Bay is named among world’s top 25 best natural destinations (Photo: VOV)

“Whittled away over centuries by wind and water, they’re breathtaking,” it stressed. The travel website also suggested that visitors should take the opportunity to rent a kayak or a junk boat, or alternatively take a tour in order to explore the bay.

Rounding off the list of the top 25 best natural destinations was Kathmandu of Nepal, Hurghada of Egypt, Mauritius of Africa, Kauai of Hawaii, and Zanzibar of Tanzania.

Ha Long Bay appearing on the list comes after it was also named among the world’s trending destinations by TripAdvisor./.

Compiled by BTA