Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cebu Pacific starts Hanoi flights

Cebu Pacific’s direct flight to Hanoi is expected to help generate more trade and investments between the Philippines and Vietnam, according to Vietnam’s ambassador to Manila Nguyen Vu Tu.

Cebu Pacific began its twice weekly to Hanoi on March 17.

The flights depart Manila at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays and arrive in Hanoi at 12:30 a.m. Its return flights leave Hanoi at 1 a.m. and arrive in Manila at 5 a.m. the following day (Wednesday and Sunday).

The Vietnamese ambassador, the Aquino sisters Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abellada and Viel Aquino-Dee, and Cebu Pacific chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei were among the first passengers of the Hanoi-bound flight.

"In the past two to three years, relations of the two countries have seen marked improvement. Now that CEB is flying direct to Hanoi, it is adding to the betterment of people to people connection. It will facilitate trade, business and investment between two countries. More importantly, it will facilitate educational exchange between two countries. The Philippines has a lot to offer for Vietnamese students," the ambassador said.

There were 18,000 Vietnamese who visited the Philippines in 2011, a 300 percent increase from the previous year.

"We do hope with this additional route from CEB, we will witness another 300 percent increase for 2012," Vu Tu said.

"CEB, you’re helping people in Vietnam to find out that it is more fun in the Philippines and also you will be helping Filipinos to taste Vietnamese coffee and Vietnamese food. You will enjoy coffee in Vietnam," he ended.

For his part, Gokongwei commented that the CEB flights to Hanoi "reinforce our commitment to continue expanding the links between the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region and promote air travel to destinations previously not easily accessible to many passengers."

Gokongwei said the addition of Hanoi to its international network makes it easier for the Vietnamese to enjoy the shopping, eco adventure and entertainment attractions that the Philippines can offer.

Last year, CEB carried close to 12 million passengers.

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