Aussies dreaming of cold beers and delicious beef pho in the heart of Southeast Asia now have a new way to make it a reality with the launch of budget airline flights connecting to Ho Chi Minh City.
VietJet, a Vietnamese airline, will link Adelaide in South Australia to Vietnam’s sprawling southern city via Perth beginning November 21.
The budget carrier will put on five services a week priced from just $250 one way.
The new route means South Australians can depart Adelaide in the morning and arrive in the heart of Southeast Asia by the midafternoon.
“Both the Ho Chi Minh City to Adelaide and the Adelaide to Ho Chi Minh City flights will have a short one-hour stopover in Perth each way and will operate during the day, so there’s no dreaded overnight flight,” Adelaide airport managing director Brenton Cox said.
“If the service attracts strong passenger numbers, we’ll be keen to have further discussions with VietJet with a view to turning this into a non-stop service between the two cities.”
Top sights in the big city, formerly known as Saigon, include the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, Giac Lam Buddhist Temple and Central Post Office.
From Monday to Friday, flights will leave Adelaide at 7.25am, arrive in Perth at 8.55am and then in Ho Chi Minh at 3.40pm.
From Sunday to Thursday, flights will leave Ho Chi Minh at 6.35am and arrive in Perth at 2.20pm and then in Adelaide at 9.10pm.
A low-cost ticket on Monday, December 4, from Adelaide comes in at just $251 one way.
The budget ticket does not include checked baggage, meals or seat selection.
The next tier, termed “deluxe”, is priced at $351, while the luxury service, termed “SkyBoss”, is priced at $1791.
The SkyBoss ticket includes free food and drinks in-air, priority check-in, access to luxury lounges and greater baggage allowances.
South Australian Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said the new route would be a boon for Australia in trade and tourism.
“We know that international flights decrease the cost of trade while opening the door to South Australian produce to enter an emerging and important market in our region,” he said.
“The increased connectivity between our nations enables a greater exchange of ideas, people and produce.”
The number of Vietnamese students studying in South Australia has increased 37 per cent over the last 12 months, making Vietnam the state’s fourth largest cohort of international enrolments.
For Australian travellers, the VietJet network offers connections to more than 120 domestic and international destinations.
The VietJet announcement follows a rise in new international links to Adelaide.
Batik Air, a budget Indonesian carrier, announced in August new weekly services from Denpasar to Adelaide beginning in November.
Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia have announced they will increase weekly international flights over the December and January holiday season.