The well-traveled two hour flight path between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City could be cut by as much as 30 minutes thanks to a new agreement made between the governments of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Vietnam's Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and Cambodia's Deputy Prime Minister Sok An agreed on the creation of the so-called “golden flight path” during a meeting held on August 21.
Thang had held meetings in Phnom Penh that same week. The two men ordered relevant agencies to begin work on finalizing the time-saving route.
Hanoi had already secured approval from Vientiane to cross through Lao airspace.
The recently approved "golden flight path" will cut a straight line between Vietnam's two biggest cities.
The route was the brainchild of Dr. Tran Dinh Ba whose calculations suggest it would save roughly 26 minutes in the air and 25 percent of the fuel expended on the two-hour current route, which heads out over the ocean.
When Ba first proposed the new path in 2012, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam dismissed it as scientifically unsound.
During the August 21 meeting, the two governments also approved a series of new Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air flights between Vietnam and Cambodia.
Vietnam Airlines will launch new flights from tourism-haven island Phu Quoc to Siem Reap. VietJet Air will open new flights from Hanoi and HCMC to Siem Reap and HCMC to Phnom Penh.