Air France will suspend direct flights from Paris to Hanoi and HCM City for six-months to concentrate on more lucrative Chinese and Japanese routes, a company executive said recently.
The airline will suspend its code-share contract with Vietnam Airlines for non-stop flights between France and Vietnam between March 26 and October 10, said Truong Thi Hoang Thuy, Air France customer service and communications manager.
â€œLast summer, we saw a huge demand for our direct flights to Japan and China,â€ said Thuy, adding that the company did not have enough planes to operate all the routes properly.
â€œWe have decided that this summer, we will increase the number of flights there, thus suspending our direct flights between Vietnam and France,â€ she said.
In April 2004, Air France implemented a code-share agreement with national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines to become the first Western carrier to operate non-stop flights to the two Vietnamese cities.
The two carriers have since operated 12 non-stop flights a week between France and Vietnam.
As of March 26, Air France will operate four flights a week linking HCM City and three linking Hanoi to Paris, with stopovers in Bangkok.
Vietnam Airlines, which began direct flights to Paris from Hanoi and HCM City in 2003, will maintain its seven connections a week, enjoying a de facto monopoly on the direct link.