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Budget airline Air Asia eyes Malaysia-HCMC route




Malaysian budget air carrier Air Asia has sought permission to fly to Ho Chi Minh City but the Vietnamese government wants it to fly to northern destinations rather than the already-crowded sector.


The Vietnam Civil Aviation Administration said it would be hard to issue a license to fly from Malaysia to HCMC since it was already congested.

The administration told the carrier to begin flights to the capital Hanoi and other cities, promising to issue licenses soon if it agreed. Licenses are normally issued within 30 days if the papers are in order.

But Air Asia has yet to make up its mind on the offer since its target is the busy southern economic hub where numerous Malaysian enterprises are based.

Battle for skies

The Vietnamese domestic market is all set for a battle since Southeast Asian nations have committed to an “Open Skies” policy from 2008.

Foreign carriers can look forward to simplified licensing procedures to operate in Vietnam.

The country has seen a flurry of low-cost foreign airlines entering the lucrative market in the last few years.

Singapore’s Tiger Airways and Thailand’s Thai Air Asia are already here and are now pursuing expansion plans with new routes and increased frequencies.

Source: Sai Gon Giai Phong – Translated by Ha Viet - Thanhniennews


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