16:12 | 08/07/2016 Society
(VEN) - Air New Zealand launched the first direct route connecting Auckland in New Zealand to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam on June 4. The flights will open up opportunities for increased tourism between the two countries
Air New Zealand flight NZ 269 from Auckland landed safely at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, on June 4 (Photo: Internet)
As the first direct route between the two countries, the route will initially fly three times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday until the end of October, using a Boeing 767-300.
The direct air route was one of major efforts to contribute to expanding the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
Air New Zealand said that the new air route is part of its plan to expand operations in Southeast Asian countries and a focus in its strategy for the Pacific Rim. Ho Chi Minh City is Air New Zealand’s 30th international destination.
Minister of Economic Development, Education, Skills and Employment of New Zealand Steven Joyce described the event as an important milestone in transport cooperation between the two countries, helping enhance connection in tourism, economics and education, particularly when both countries have joined the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
The two parties can totally expect a strong increase in relations between people and businesses of the two countries. In particular, the TPP and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) would create very favorable legal frameworks for businesses.
Vietnam has achieved the fastest growth in trade with New Zealand among ASEAN countries, growing by 20 percent each year in the last five years.
The two sides will try to increase bilateral trade revenues to US$1.7 billion by 2020, while enhancing investment in areas such as agriculture, agricultural processing, services, tourism and education.
With the direct air route, tourism is expected to grow the fastest. More than 70,000 tourists from New Zealand flew to Vietnam in the last three years and the figure is likely to increase in the near future. New Zealand also hoped to welcome many more Vietnamese tourists, said Steven Joyce.
The number of tourists from Vietnam travelling to New Zealand hit 4,000 by late March this year, and the number of tourists from New Zealand to Vietnam also increased by about 20 percent in 2015.
Prior to that, during a press conference held recently in Hanoi, Ambassador of New Zealand to Vietnam Haike Manning said tourism cooperation plays an important role in the comprehensive relations between the two countries and that Air New Zealand’s direct air route between Auckland and Ho Chi Minh City which was launched this month was an ample opportunity for both countries.
He also said that the two countries have unlimited potential for tourism cooperation. New Zealand is well-known for its beauty, harmony and hospitality. A series of famous films such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place in New Zealand contributing to making the country an emerging destination for tourists worldwide.
An average of 30,000 tourists from New Zealand travelled to Vietnam each year. However, the number of tourists from Vietnam to New Zealand remained modest. For this reason, the nonstop air route is considered as a big chance to attract tourists of both countries. In the short run, the Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam will launch many more activities in Vietnam to promote New Zealand’s tourism, said the ambassador.
Dinh Van & Chu An