Jetstar today denounced claims that Vietnam based Jetstar Pacific was to be absorbed by the country’s flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, it seems that some media outlets were reporting that the airline would be wholly taken over by Vietnam Airlines. Earlier in the year we reported (in the following article Joint Qantas Vietnam Airlines Venture in Negotiations) that Vietnam Airlines and Qantas was in negotiations for possible transfer of the majority 73% stake which Vietnamese State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) has in Jetstar Pacific to Vietnam Airlines effectively making Qantas (a oneworld alliance member) and Vietnam Airlines (a SkyTeam alliance member) unlikely partners Jetstar’s CEO Bruce Buchanan said “Vietnam Airlines would be welcomed as a partner in Jetstar Pacific and it remained committed to the Vietnamese market as part of its broader pan-Asian strategy.” If anything today’s announcement by Jetstar confirm that a possible Qantas Group Vietnam Airlines partnership in Jetstar Pacific is highly likely and very imminent.
Accor has announced a massive Hotel expansion for Vietnam, with new 9 new hotels to open by 2012 under the following Accor brands Pullman Novotel, Mercure ibis, MGallery and Le Belhamy all to be operation by 2012 Accor is already Vietnam’s biggest Hotel group with the expansion to further grow their presence. Accor’s future Vietnam hotels and resorts listed below will nearly double Accor’s number of rooms from 2,147 across 13 hotels to 4,147 rooms across 22 Hotels and Resorts. 2 New ibis Hotels Ho Chi Minh City Saigon Novotel Imperial Hoi An Novotel Resort Phu Quoc Novotel Saigon Center Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi (Second MGallery for Hanoi) Le Belhamy Hoi An – To open 1 April 2010 Pullman Vung Tau – To open late 2010 Mecure Hado Hanoi – to open late 2010 The full media release from Accor can be read below: Ho Chi Minh City, March 10, 2010 – Accor, the largest international hotel operator in Vietnam, announces today its strategic expansion plans for Vietnam. This plan includes additional hotels within the Novotel, Mercure hotel brand, launching of the ibis brand and MGallery label and the ambitious goal of doubling the number of rooms under management in the Vietnam by 2012. “Vietnam has always been considered as one of the strategic markets in Southeast Asia for Accor, which is demonstrated through Accor’s early entrance and consistent growth in the country since 1991. With signs of both economic recovery and a re-strengthening of tourism arrivals, Accor is confident and ready to selectively expand our presence throughout the country,” says Patrick Basset, Vice President of Operations for Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. Accor’s multi-brand expansion throughout Vietnam Accor plans to expand the number of brands on offer in Vietnam to include upscale products such as Pullman and MGallery, through to more economical ibis hotel brand. In late 2010, Accor anticipates the opening of the first Pullman hotel in Vietnam – Pullman Vung Tao and the second MGallery hotel for Vietnam in the country’s capital – Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi. Beyond this additional developments include 3 Novotels’ – Novotel Imperial Hoi An, Novotel Resort Phu Quoc and Novotel Saigon Centre. Mercure Hanoi Hado with its central location in the city will be the third Mercure for Vietnam. The first 2 ibis hotels for the country are also announced for Ho Chi Minh City – ibis Saigon and ibis Saigon South. These hotels represent the first two international economy hotels for Vietnam. “The coming twelve months is sure to be an exciting period for Accor in Vietnam, with many new developments in the pipeline. Pullman Vung Tao will be the first for the brand in the country, while Hotel De L’Opera Hanoi will be the second hotel of the highly distinctive upscale MGallery label.” Mr. Basset further explains. Accor expansion ambitions Accor currently has 13 hotels and 2,147 rooms in operation throughout Vietnam and more than 2,000 additional rooms committed through the above mentioned […]
According to Bloomberg Vietnam Airlines has signed an in principal agreement to purchase 4 Airbus A380 aircraft The article goes on to say “Vietnam Air signed an initial agreement with European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., the parent of Airbus, to begin negotiations on the purchase, Pham Ngoc Minh, the airline’s chief executive officer, said in a telephone interview from Hanoi Thursday. He declined to elaborate.” “The Hanoi-based carrier plans to double its fleet to more than 100 planes by 2015 and triple it to 150 by 2020 as the country’s economy improves, according to its website.” “The agreement was signed Thursday during a three-day visit by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to the Southeast Asian country, according to a statement from the Vietnamese foreign ministry.”
The Prime Minister of Vietnam has approved Vietnam’s national carrier Vietnam Airlines to join SkyTeam by 2010 The Prime Minister has just agreed to the proposal of Vietnam Airlines on an additional purchase of 10 passenger planes, the Airbus A321-200, during the period of 2011-2014. Accordingly, the Vietnamese flag carrier should directly negotiate the details of the contract with the producer. The Prime Minister also permitted Vietnam Airlines to join SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, and to prepare the necessary groundwork for the accession in 2010. Still, he requested the carrier to follow the current principles and regulations during the membership. Vietnam Airlines operates 64 routes to 20 domestic and 24 international destinations with a young fleet of 50 modern aircraft, serving more than 9 million passengers annually to popular cities, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Moscow, Paris, Seoul, Sydney and Tokyo. Vietnam Airlines will add 17 unique destinations to the SkyTeam network, including 14 cities in Vietnam. In 2006, Vietnam Airlines was officially accepted as a full member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Currently, SkyTeam members China Southern and Korean Air have codeshare agreements with Vietnam Airlines, and Air France has engaged in strong bilateral cooperation with the airline.
Westin have announced they will enter Vietnam with the signing of an agreement to develop a beach side resort in Cam Ranh Vietnam. The town of Cam Ranh is a 40 minute drive from the major beach resort town of Nha Trang Vietnam. Personally every time I visit Vietnam I spend a least a few days in this area the scenery is absolutely stunning, I know the Westin resort and spa Cam Ranh will be a welcome addition to the area. The full press release from Starwood can be read below: Westin Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE: HOT) today announced that it has reached an agreement with Phat Dat Real Estate Development Corporation to develop a Westin resort on a beachfront site in Cam Ranh Bay, Khanh Hoa Province on the southeastern coast of Vietnam. The 330-room Westin is targeted to open in 2012. “We are delighted to strengthen our presence in Vietnam with the signing of The Westin Resort & Spa, Cam Ranh. The signing of The Westin Resort & Spa, Cam Ranh marks the entry of the Westin brand into Vietnam and strengthens the position of Starwood as one of the largest international upscale hotel chains in the Thailand and Indochina region (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos),” commented Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. “We are looking forward to offering travelers to Cam Ranh a retreat from the rigors of travel, with our signature Westin services, products and amenities that will allow them to relax, rejuvenate and recharge during their stay,” added Ko. Starwood currently operates 15 hotels in the Thailand and Indochina region, with over 15 more under development in Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Samui, Angkor, Hoi An, Nha Trang and now Cam Ranh, under the brands of Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, St. Regis, Four Points by Sheraton, W, The Luxury Collection and aloft. Scheduled to open in 2012, The Westin Resort & Spa, Cam Ranh will feature 330 rooms and a range of Westin products and services including the famous Westin Heavenly Bed, Westin WORKOUT and Heavenly Spa. Other hotel facilities will also include eight food and beverage outlets, a health club, swimming pools, Westin Heavenly Spa, Westin Kid’s Club, business center and a retail shop. Cam Ranh Bay is a protected inlet off the South China Sea situated between Phan Rang and Nha Trang, approximately 290 kilometers northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. It is well-known for its white sandy beaches and pristine turquoise waters. The site features an extensive beach frontage of 550 meters. Due to the beachfront location and undulating terrain of the site, all guest rooms and villas will feature breath-taking views of the ocean. The Westin resort is approximately a 10-minute drive from Cam Ranh airport and a 40-minute drive to the Nha Trang city center, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province.
JetStar StarClass Flight Review Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney: On a recent trip from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Sydney I had another opportunity to fly Jetstar StarClass, and thought it would be a great opportunity to write about the experience. Firstly what Jetstar StarClass is not, a full Business Class service, I would compare StarClass with a premium economy service, but with some business class benefits that I will mention later. On arrival at Saigon’s new international terminal at Tan Son Nhat airport, I checked in via the dedicated StarClass counter collected my boarding pass (seat 3a) and business class lounge pass, then headed thru customs and up to the Daisy business class lounge. I found trying to find the Daisy lounge an experience, there some signs to lead the way but they are small and few and far between, Just remember after you pass customs turn right and head to the 3rd floor, the lounge is down the end of a long hall. On entering the daisy lounge I was met with one of the best business class lounges I had ever been in, the lounge was far from crowded, the mood was quiet and relaxed, and the food and drink was above what you would find in a Qantas Club/Business Class lounge. Food included high quality Vietnamese and Western dishes, being a Vietnamese food connoisseur I tried some Banh Cuon (flat rolled rice noodles with Vietnamese mints and Vietnamese ham) first. The self-service bar consisted of various beers, including the local 333 (Ba Ba Ba) and Heineken, a wide range of spirits and liquor’s including Scotch, Bourbon and Hennessey VSOP was available, all this along with your regular juices, and soft drinks. Eventually it was boarding time, and I headed to my gate then into the aircraft and seat 3a. From boarding the flight I found the cabin staff to be very friendly and helpful, assisting a couple with a toddler, a passenger with a coat and other with an awkward shaped piece of Vietnamese art work. The business cabin and seat was well maintained, with everything from a reasonably wide reclinable (38 inch seat pitch) seat, with reading light, laptop power outlet and personal video on demand units with noise cancelling headphones. So how was the food service? It was quite good, and began with a choice of champagne or orange juice prior to take off then followed by dinner that consisted of a tasty hot sate chicken and rice dish with salad, dinner roll, wine after dinner chocolate, with beverages including beer, wine, spirits, soft drink or juice. After this desert was served, and a little later the cabin lights were dimmed and I settled in to watch the rest of the movie I started watching earlier in the night, throughout the night I was offered water and alcohol, finally three hours before arriving in Sydney breakfast was served, which consisted of a breakfast roll with egg, bacon and cheese with tea coffee or juice. All in […]