Direct Flight potential destination-Hanoi, Vietnam

If you're CEO of an airline based in India looking to expand, what could be one city you can consider?

In this series, I've already written about Bali  which also has great potential but no direct flights from India.

Next potential destination I can think of is Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam has relatively easy Visa process (details here) for Indians. But due to absence of direct flights, very few Indians visit Vietnam. Reaching Vietnam costs almost twice the flight cost to Thailand, though Vietnam is just a little further from Thailand. At present to reach Vietnam Indians need to take one stop flight via Singapore, or Malayasia or Bangkok. A direct flight can motivate more and more Indians to visit Vietnam. Even if 5% of tourists heading to Bangkok or Singapore or Malaysia decide to visit Vietnam instead, it can keep couple of planes full. From Hanoi tourists can also take short flight to Cambodia, Laos or other adjacent countries.

Top reasons why India based airlines should consider direct flight to Hanoi, Vietnam

  1. Untapped potential- not many Indians have visited Vietnam compared to Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore. If given easy flight option many will be happy to visit Vietnam
  2. Easy visa process for Indians 
  3. Not too far. Within range of A320/B737 from India (B737 has a range of 10000 kms, Delhi to Hanoi is only 5000 kms approx)
  4. Codeshare with Vietnam airlines or other carriers to offer easy connectivity to Laos, Taiwan, Cambodia etc from Hanoi
  5. Considering volume of passengers visiting South East Asia, making say 2-3% of them fly to Vietnam won't be difficult. Enough to fill few planes
  6. Vietnam is cheaper, offers great attractions of tourist interest.
  7. Indian carriers may also get Vietnam passengers heading to Europe or Middle East (Hanoi-New Delhi-Amsterdam for example), thus boosting overall load factor.

Vietnam is very pocket friendly country. I did a one week trip in 45000, everything (Flight + hotel + site seeing etc) included. Check details here. Places to visit around Hanoi:

  • Halong Bay
  • Perfume Pagoda
  • Sapa Trek

Ho Chi Minh city (formerly Saigon) is another potential destination in Vietnam.

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