Lao Airlines introduces new route to Vietnam, Dragonair to follow

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Lao Airlines, the national carrier of Laos, announced on Tuesday it is now offering a new route from the southern city Paske to Vietnam's central coast province of Da Nang.

Hong Kong-based airline Dragonair said on the same day that it will open a new route to the Vietnamese province in March.

Lao Airlines said it will operate three flights in a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to and from Paske, using an ATR 72 aircraft with a capacity of 68 passengers, news website thoibaokinhtesaigon.vn reported.

The cost for a one-way ticket is set at VND2.2 million (US$106); round-trip tickets are VND4.01 million ($191).

Huynh Duc Trung, an official of Da Nang's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the new flight route connecting the province with Paske was the result of the efforts of local authorities in both countries.

Lao Airlines ran two pilot flights of the route in March and April of last year.

The new flight route not only shortens the time it would take to travel overland from Laos to Vietnam, but will also help tourists who go from Thailand to Laos reach Vietnam easily, he said.

The Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Ltd, or Dragonair, a subsidiary of Hong Kong's national airline Cathay Pacific, said by March 28, it will open three flights per week also on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from Hong Kong to Da Nang by Airbus A320 aircraft, which can hold 180 passengers.

Da Nang is Dragonair's second destination in Vietnam. The airline currently operates ten flights per week between Hong Kong and Hanoi.

Patrick Yeung, CEO of Dragonair, said Vietnam has become an important destination not only tourism, but business as well.

The new route will help to increase the number of tourists coming to from Hong Kong to Vietnam and vice versa, he said.

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