Vietnam low-cost carrier Vietjet Air is steadily adding to its international network, including plans for its initial foray into Australia.
The carrier says it will start operations on the Ho Chi Minh City-Melbourne route on 31 March, operating Airbus A330 aircraft.
Initially the service will be three times weekly, but it expects this to grow to daily frequencies by December 2024 depending on market conditions.
Vietjet executives have long talked of operating Australian services, mainly due to the Vietnamese communities in cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.
The Melbourne announcement follows the carrier’s December 2022 inauguration of a direct four-times-weekly service between Vietnam’s Da Nang leisure destination and the Indian city of Ahmedabad. This followed the launch earlier in 2022 of services from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the Kazakh cities.
December 2022 also saw Vietjet launch a new Kazakhstan route with a twice-weekly Nha Trang-Astana service. This followed the launch of its Nha Trang-Almaty route in October 2022.
December 2022 also saw Vietjet restore international services that were suspended in early 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic. It has re-launched its Da Lat-Bangkok service, as well as its Ho Chi Minh City-Hong Kong service.
Cirium fleets data shows that Vietjet has 77 aircraft, mainly A320ceo and neo family jets. It also operates a trio of A330-300s.
The carrier has orders for 264 aircraft, including 150 737 Max aircraft and 114 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.