Melburnians with their sights (and stomachs) set on a trip to southern Vietnam have a new travel connection to look forward to, with Vietjet revealing plans to begin Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City flights from March 31.
Initially jetting off thrice-weekly, the non-stop hop is expected to ramp up to daily flights by December 2024.
Given Melbourne’s large Vietnamese community, its arrival in the city – joining Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Jetstar already flying the direct route – is sure to be welcome news.
Melbourne Airport Chief Executive Officer Lorie Argus says the Tullamarine hub is “thrilled to welcome Vietjet to Melbourne for the first time, and to be part of their plans for expansion in Australia.”
Flights depart from Melbourne every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with wheels up after midnight at 12:30am, and touchdown into Ho Chi Minh City at 5:15am.
On the rebound, flights depart Ho Chi Minh City at 9:50am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, arriving into Melbourne at 10:35pm.
Vietjet business class
While Vietjet is considered a low-cost carrier, the Airbus A330s featuring on the new route offer a premium cabin, which the airline sells as ‘Skyboss Business’.
But it’s not quite business class as you know it: the 12 leather seats fold out into an older-style angled flatbed.
Our tip for relaxing or catching some shut-eye on the 8+ hour flight: try to set up the seat as a recliner than a sloping lie-flat bed, and wedge a pillow behind your lower back for added comfort.
Perks of Vietjet’s premium cabin include 40kg of checked baggage and 18kg carry-on, along with lounge access, priority check-in and complimentary meals.
With the late-night departure from Melbourne, the overnight flight is well-timed for travellers to get in some sleep before landing into Ho Chi Minh City in the morning, ready to set out and explore.
It’s worth noting Vietjet doesn’t offer any inflight entertainment, so a good book or some pre-downloaded content on your own device is essential.
Interest in Vietnam has soared since the country’s March 2022 reopening, with the major hubs of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi still receiving the lion’s share of business and leisure travel, though lesser known ports like Quy Nhon and Ninh Binh are becoming increasingly popular.
From Ho Chi Minh City, Vietjet offers connections to a multitude of domestic and international ports, such as Da Nang and Hanoi, and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Vietjet is the second Vietnamese airline to make its debut in Melbourne post-pandemic, with Bamboo Airways – the country’s third largest carrier and equipped with a comfortable lie-flat business class on its 787 Dreamliner – flying since April 2022.