Air fares to rise on longer domestic routes

Ministry of Transport said that related agencies have agreed to propose to the government to raise one-way airfares for long domestic routes to a limit of VND5 million (US$250), to cover heavy operational costs.

The new fare rate, inclusive of value-added tax (VAT) and surcharges, may be applied from the Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls in January next year.

As per the new rate, the ceiling for one-way fares for the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route will be VND3.84 million and for one-way flights longer than 1,280km, the fare will be VND4.76 million. These prices are exclusive of VAT and surcharges.

This year in April, the Ministry of Finance had agreed to the airlines' proposal to raise the airfares by nearly 23 percent on an average.

In related news, Vietnam Airlines held a press conference yesterday to announce direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to UK from December 8, 2011.

The flights will land at Gatwick Airport and the service will be provided on a Boeing B777 airplane.

VNA will operate four flights a week to Gatwick Airport – two from Hanoi and two from HCMC. London is now the fourth European gateway for the carrier, after Paris, Frankfurt and Moscow.

On this occasion, passengers in Vietnam buying tickets to the UK from September 15 to October 15 and departing between December 8 and December 31 will enjoy preferential rates of VND12.5 million (US$599).

By B.Quyen,T.Tuyet - Translated by T.Huong

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