Vietnam Airlines consider Russia as one of the priority markets
Russian Travel Digest asked some questions Mr. Le Thanh Dung, Vietnam Airlines General Manager Russia and CIS, about Russian Travel Market to find out more about their plans and strategy for the coming year.
What plans and goals do you have in Russia in 2019?
For the Russian market, we will upgrade the Business class amenity kit, menu, provide pyjamas, blanket and bed linen. We have put Vietnamese roots and backgrounds very core of what we are in terms of image, hospitality, inspiration, creativity, innovation, and make travels more relaxing but yet still professional. Last year, Vietnam Airlines teamed up with celebrity chef, Luke Nguyen, to create 8 regional dishes for the business class menu inspired by his travels across the North, Middle, South and Hue city in Vietnam. This partnership comes from a shared ethos of respecting cultural values by designing, preparing and presenting with authentic Vietnamese flavours in harmonious combination with refreshments and side dishes. These will be served on selected routes to/from Russia, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan and Korea starting March this year.
How many passengers from Russia did you transfer to Vietnam in 2018? How big increase do you plan in 2019?
In 2018, a record number of more than 606,000 passengers from Russia visited Vietnam (source: VNAT) in which Vietnam Airlines transported approximately 75,000 passengers.
How do you get the majority of bookings from the Russian market?
Most of bookings come from major tour operators, from ticket sellers like Aviasales, Ozon travel, and also from individual travellers on our official website (www.vietnamairlines.com),
How do you consider the Russian market in comparison to other markets? Are Russian passengers different from other nationalities?
There are some destinations with us being the only carrier offering frequent direct transcontinental routes to/from Europe (London, Paris, Frankfurt), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne). Russia is among the top 10 countries with highest number of tourists visiting Vietnam with an annual growth rate of 30% per annum. In 2018, passenger traffic between two countries reached 1.4 million with 18% annual growth rate, in which 80% of passengers is Russian citizens travelling to Vietnam. Russian tourists like to spend holidays in beautiful beaches in Vietnam such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc…
Vietnam Airlines now runs three direct flights per week between Hanoi and Moscow on one of the most modern wide-body, eco-friendly aircraft Boeing 787-9 with convenience connection to all beach destinations in Vietnam.
Last year, Aeroflot and Vietnam Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between the two airlines. This partnership will offer code-sharing flight on domestic routes in Russia and Vietnam hence wider choice of travel options.
Do you have any statistics of Vietnam citizens coming to visit Russia onboard Vietnam Airlines flights?
About 20%, focus on summer and autumn seasons
Please tell us more about your promotion strategy on the Russian market. Which marketing activities do you plan in 2019?
We focus on both B2C and B2B channels to build image of national airlines of Vietnam with 4 star standard services and modern fleet of B787-9, A350-900 and A321 NEO, with fly network cover all of destinations in Vietnam, Indochina and also Nort East Asia, South East Asia and Australia.
We support our travel agents in Russia and CIS countries, giving them the opportunities to know more about destinations and also easier to sell our product.