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Vietnam Airlines to launch direct flights from London Gatwick to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam Airlines recently announced that it will be launching direct flight services to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi from London Gatwick starting December 2011.

After announcing its plans in April this year for introducing London route, the airline has finally confirmed that it will be using Gatwick airport in the city for the launching of these new routes.

Currently, the Vietnam Airlines does not operate direct flight services between Vietnam and London. Passengers traveling from London to Vietnam have no other option, but to use the services of Vietnam Airlines from Paris and Frankfurt, or connections in Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok.

The airline is yet to release the exact flight schedules. However, the Vietnam Airlines said that it will be operating twice-weekly flight services to both the destinations effective December 9, 2011. The airline will be deploying B777-200ER aircrafts on these routes. The aircraft is configured for Economy Class, Deluxe Economy and Business Class.

The Vietnam Airlines, meanwhile, in another statement disclosed that it will be investing US$8.38 billion for expanding its fleet and is seeking government approval in this regard. In the first phase, the airline will have a total of 110 aircraft by 2015.

The airline also said that it plans to take its fleet to a total of 170 aircraft by 2020.

By 2020, the fleet will have wide-body Airbus A350-900s, Airbus A380s, Boeing 787-9s as well as narrow-body A320s and A321s. The fleet will also include Bombardier (BBDb.TO) C series and ATR-72s.