They have a long-standing bilateral partnership that spans twenty years, but still, Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines see room for tying up more. The two carriers announced on Friday that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration.

The first step of this collaboration is to explore options for codesharing of flights to improve connectivity between Vietnam and Singapore. This could be extended to other flights on Singapore Airlines’ network. The two also see possibilities for collaboration that should benefit customers.

“Singapore Airlines and Vietnam Airlines have well-established networks, which can support one another to strengthen the connectivity between the two ASEAN countries and to key markets around the world. These win-win arrangements will offer more options and greater value for our customers, support economic growth, and bolster initiatives that facilitate tourism activities,” Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong said in a media statement. The MoU was announced at the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum in the presence of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

Vietnam Airlines’ pre-pandemic network in Southeast Asia included two direct flights to Singapore. (Vietnam Airlines)

His colleague of Vietnam Airlines, Le Hong Ha, added: “We are pleased to build on this agreement with our trusted partner Singapore Airlines – one of the world’s leading carriers. Over many years, Singapore remains one of the most important markets for Vietnam Airlines. We hope to leverage our joint capabilities throughout many commercial fields of our business and therefore provide a seamless experience to our valued customers. This MoU will also build a strong foundation for our future partnership and robust recovery after the pandemic.”

Pre-pandemic, Vietnam Airlines operated direct services to Singapore from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. These have been restored, using the Airbus A321, A350-900, and Boeing 787. Its domestic network also connects to Singapore via the two major cities, of which Ho Chi Minh is the closest at a two-hour flight. The Covid crisis forced Vietnam Airlines to restructure. 

Singapore Airlines operates the A350 to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, although its Boeing 787-10 also goes there. The MAX 8 flies non-stop to Da Nang.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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