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The private air carrier services the new route on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting last weekend, departing from the airports of Buon Ma Thuot at 10:15 a.m. and Vinh at noon.

Truong Thanh Vu of Air Mekong told the Daily on the phone on Sunday that the new route was an extension of the HCMC-Buon Ma Thuot run that the airline flies twice a day, and the first direct service linking Buon Ma Thuot and Vinh.

Air Mekong expects the new route to attract both leisure and business travelers as Buon Ma Thuot is the biggest city of the Central Highlands region and home to many sites of cultural value, and coffee, rubber and pepper farms. Vinh City is in Nghe An, a province that is renowned for tourist sites such as Cua Lo, Sam Son and Thien Cam beaches.

Figures showed the demand for air travel to and from the Central Highlands region has increased by 30-50% over the past years. On top of that, the direct Buon Ma Thuot-Vinh route helps passengers save much time as a flight on this route is one hour and 20 minutes, which is more convenient than having to travel between the two destinations via a stop over in Hanoi and HCMC.

Air Mekong said that Vinh was its ninth destination nearly after one year in service. The carrier has operated more than 10,000 flights since it joined Vietnam’s aviation market on October 10 last year.

* Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Air Mekong had to abort nearly 20 flights last Friday when Typhoon Nesat made landfall in Haiphong and surrounding areas, the second tropical storm that affected domestic air services in less than a week.

Vietnam Airlines announced to cancel at least 10 flights from HCMC and Danang to the northern port city of Haiphong and vice versa on that day due to the impact of Storm No. 5 as it was known in Vietnam.

Air Mekong said some five flights were grounded on the HCMC-Hanoi, Hanoi-Dalat and Hanoi-Phu Quoc, and had to delay departure of several flights on Friday.

Though Jetstar Pacific operates some 40 flights a day, it had to abort two flights between HCMC and Haiphong due to the impact of Nesat, and conducted normal services on the other routes.

The three carriers resumed normal flights on the routes impacted by the storm the next day. On Saturday, Vietnam Airlines performed four additional services for HCMC-Haiphong last weekend.

Nesat resulted in less flight cancellations than Haitang that swept through certain areas in the central and Central Highlands regions early last week. This tropical storm, also known as Storm No. 4 in Vietnam, forced Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Air Mekong to ground at least 32 flights to Buon Ma Thuot, Hue, Danang, Vinh and Dong Hoi.
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Create date : 04-10-2011 22:18:38

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