Beginning June 4, travellers from Kenya will be able to fly from Nairobi to the Vietnamese city via Emirates’ hub in Dubai.
Regional Manager for East Africa Essa Sulaiman Ahmad said that Emirates would begin daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two class configuration, which would change to Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft from October.
“Emirates will offer tourists and business travellers from Kenya a convenient and comfortable option to access the fascinating and diverse country of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most vibrant places in South East Asia and we are convinced that this will prove to be a highly popular route,” Ahmad said.
“Vietnam is full of fascinating history and culture; from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An to the islands of Halong Bay, to the beaches of Nha Trang and the floating markets of the Mekong River Delta. Now, thanks to Emirates’ new service, this must-see destination is within even easier reach for Kenyans,” he added.
Vietnam has been one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with Ho Chi Minh City, home to over seven million people, recognised as the commercial centre of the country.
The trade volume between Kenya and Vietnam doubled in the first quarter of 2011 as compared to the same period in 2010.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister for Trade, Le Duong Quang, while receiving Kenya’s Ambassador to Vietnam Richard Ekai mid last year, said Vietnam was keen on working closely with Kenya and promised to pursue opportunities for high level trade visits to Kenya.
“The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is keen on expanding and diversifying its relations with Kenya. The trade relation between the two countries has not been commensurate with the good bilateral relations between the two countries. We are undertaking a study on forging closer trade relations with Kenya. Vietnamese companies will in future give consideration to organising Trade Fairs in Kenya. I would also like to encourage Kenyan companies to do the same in Vietnam,” said Le Quang.
Operating as EK 390, the daily non-stop flight, with 27 Business Class and 251 Economy Class seats, will depart Dubai International Airport at 0925hrs, arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 1920hrs.
Ho Chi Minh City will be the Emirates’ eighth route launch in 2012, following on from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro on January 3; Dublin on January 9; Lusaka and Harare on 1st February; Dallas on February 2 and Seattle on March 1.