ANALYSIS: Da Nang’s Southeast Asia disconnect

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Vietnam’s third largest city, Da Nang, has been far more successful at attracting flights from North Asia than from Southeast Asia.

According to FlightMaps Analytics, Da Nang has direct connections to just two international destinations in Southeast Asia, Siem Reap and Singapore.

The Singapore-Da Nang service is operated by Silkair, which sometimes flies to Da Nang via Siem Reap with Airbus A320 aircraft.

Tigerair operated direct services from Singapore in 2006, but dropped out less than one year later. AirAsia also launched Kuala Lumpur-Da Nang services in 2011, but dropped the four times weekly service in June 2013.

Inbound traffic to Da Nang by city of origin

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FlightMaps Analytics

North Asian cities dominate international traffic into Da Nang, with 12 cities offering direct service. These are mainly from Chinese cities, but there are also twice daily flights from Seoul. The biggest players on the Seoul-Da Nang route are Korean Air, Asiana, and Vietnam Airlines.Central Vietnam is reportedly a popular destination for South Korean tourists.

Da Nang’s virtually non-existent direct links from Southeast Asia stand in stark contradiction to booming capacity into the city. According to Fightglobal’s Captstats database, in 2005 the city had 698,000 seats of inbound capacity, but by 2013 this had grown to 2.7 million.

Inbound capacity growth at Da Nang - Capstats

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Traffic to the city is all but totally dominated by internal services from Vietnam’s two biggest cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In January 2014, the month of the country’s Tet holiday, Da Nang will receive inbound capacity of 117,000 seats from Ho Chi Minh, and 63,000 from the nation’s capital, Hanoi.

Indeed, one obstacle to direct services to other parts of Asia is the sheer capacity deployed by Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, and Jetstar Pacific on the Ho Chi Minh-Da Nang and Hanoi-Da Nang routes. For Vietnam Airlines, a portion of its Da Nang bound traffic is likely provided by feed from international services into Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.

A representative of Da Nang airport, however, tells Flightglobal Pro that Vietnam Airlines is serious about eventually launching direct services to Bangkok. The airport also hopes that the national carrier will one day commence direct services to Singapore.

Da Nang international route network

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FlightMaps Analytics