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ROUTES: VietJet details long-haul plans

VietJet Air is mulling the establishment of long-haul operations as part of its next growth phase.

Speaking at a panel session at the World Routes conference in Barcelona today, Jay Lingeswara, deputy director at Vietnamese airline, says long-haul "is definitely a key area for [it] as a low-cost carrier".

"We are taking a very seriously look at doing long-haul ops," Lingeswara adds. "We are also looking at all avenues, be it with partnerships or doing it on our own."

He says the carrier is in discussions with a Middle Eastern airline, and already has a codeshare deal with Japan Airlines.

"We are not restricted by entering partnerships with other low-cost carriers," notes Lingeswara in relation to the budget-airline-driven Value Alliance.

He adds that markets at which VietJet is looking for its long-haul operations have to be greater than 7h. These include Australia, Japan, the USA and Europe.

Another key ingredient for launching long-haul operations, Lingeswara says, is for VietJet to have "the right aircraft". At present, the carrier's longest routes are in the 5-7h hour range, and operated using Airbus A320-family aircraft.

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