VietJetAir to offer daily flight to Bangkok after Lunar New Year

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Vietnam's private budget carrier VietJetAir has announced the launch of its first international route from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok, Thailand to begin February 10, 2013, the first day of the Lunar New Year.

One daily 90 minute flight will depart from Ho Chi Minh City at around 11 a.m. and return from Bangkok's  Suvarnabhumi Airport at 1:30 p.m. Tickets will cost between VND700,000 and VND1,980,000 (US$33-95) apiece.

The carrier recently launched its seventh domestic route from Ho Chi Minh City to the former imperial city of Hue in central Vietnam on November 22.

VietJetAir entered the aviation market last December and currently operates flights to and from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hue, Nha Trang and Hai Phong.

It plans to launch services to Vinh, Phu Quoc Island and the Central Highlands city of Da Lat by year's end and to destinations in southeast and northeast Asia in 2013, when it will double its current fleet of three Airbus aircrafts.

VietJetAir plans to expand its fleet to 15 aircrafts by 2015.

Since its opening, the airline has tried various ticket promotions including selling tickets for just VND10,000 ($0.48) or VND99,000 ($4.75), not including taxes and fees.

But one controversial promotion, involving an in-flight bikini show, caused the airline to be fined VND20 million ($951) in cash. The ill-conceived promotion took place on the airline's inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City to the central coast town of Nha Trang on August 3.

The airline service has also been hindered by technical errors that have caused several flight delays.

On September 13 angry customers forced it to buy nearly 100 tickets from its competitor, Jetstar Pacific, after a flight was delayed due to maintenance problems.

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