Travel firm drops plan to resume Moscow-Ho Chi Minh City flights: report

Thanh Nien News

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 A file photo of two Russian tourists arriving at Cam Ranh Airport in the central province of Khanh Hoa. Photo: Nguyen Chung
Vietnamese-Russian venture Pegas Travel Vietnam has scrapped its plan to restore charter flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Moscow, fearing losses, news website Saigon Times Online reported Thursday.
One of the major tour operators in the Russian market, the company had planned to resume the service on October 20. It had been suspended along with flights to Phu Quoc Island early this year due to a sharp decline in Russian tourist numbers.
In August Pegas had said that with the ruble rebounding more Russian tourists would return to Vietnam. But the currency has remained volatile and is now worth around 68 to the dollar.
The company is now focusing on charter flights between Moscow and Cam Ranh near Nha Trang, chairwoman Hoang Thi Phong Thu was quoted as saying.
It has brought around 100,000 Russian visitors to Vietnam this year, down 50 percent from last year, she said.
Russia is now the sixth biggest market for Vietnam, with 236,335 tourists visiting the country in January-September, down 10.6 percent year on year, according to figures from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Over 5.6 million people visited Vietnam as of September 30, down 5.9 percent from the same period last year.

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