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Vietnam Airlines to link former Saigon with Beijing

HANOI, Dec 1 – Vietnam\’s national carrier will fly directly between the country\’s business hub, Ho Chi Minh City, and Beijing starting mid-December, the airline said Wednesday.

China is Vietnam\’s biggest trading partner and Vietnam Airlines already flies between the capital cities of the two communist neighbours.

But the state-owned carrier will now "become the first airline to fly non-stop between Ho Chi Minh City and Beijing", Vietnam Airlines said in a statement.

There will be three flights a week from December 16, it said.

Vietnam Airlines — a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance that includes Air France and America\’s Delta Airlines — has set out to become one of Southeast Asia\’s leading carriers.

It aims to transport 12 million passengers this year and to boost its fleet from 70 to 115 aircraft by 2015.

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