First air freight route between Vietnam - UK launched

Monday, 22/05/2023 14:30
The first air freight route between Vietnam – UK has been launched by TT Meridian, an international logistics and trading company of Vietnam in the United Kingdom (UK) to transport goods between Vietnam and the UK via Turkmenistan.
A Turkmenistan Airlines cargo plane at London Stansted Airport is about to fly to Vietnam and transit in Turkmenistan. (Photo: VNA) 

The new route, announced on May 19, is operated by Turkmenistan Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkmenistan. It is expected to boost bilateral trade activities as the UK-Vietnam free trade agreement (UKVFTA) came into effect in May 2021.

Managing Director of TT Meridian Thai Tran said that TT Meridian is believed to provide exporters, importers and forwarding agents with more choices in addition to the existing direct and indirect services available in the market.

He expected the new cargo flight will pave the way for more goods to be air transported between Vietnam and the UK as well as for higher frequency of two-way all cargo flights.

New all cargo service using A330 aircraft that can carry 30 tonnes will also enable shippers to send large shipments that cannot be served by passenger flights, the Managing Director said.

From May 2023, the flight departs from London Stansted Airport to Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat International Airport on Wednesday evening, local time. Transit time is about four hours. It then departs from Ashgabat International Airport on Thursday morning and arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon local time. The return flight departs from Hanoi on Thursday evening and arrives at London Stansted Airport on Wednesday morning the following week. Transit time is five to six days.

According to Thai, together with Turkmenistan Airlines, Swissport and ACSV (the ground handling agents in London and Hanoi respectively) and other partners, TT Meridian operated a few trial flights in the past few weeks. He believes the quick connection time in Turkmenistan, the transit point between the UK and Vietnam, and the competitive air freight will be supportive for forwarding agents, shippers and consignees during this challenging economic time.

Despite the global recession, two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK and vice versa have increased notably. According to the UK Department for Business and Trade, total Vietnam exports to the UK in 2022 amounted to 5.9 billion GBP (7.34 billion USD), an impressive increase of 30.3% against 2021. Total UK exports to Vietnam in 2022 was 1.0 billion GBP, a year-on-year increase of 22.3%./.