Vietnam Airlines to fly Sydney-Hanoi from March 2017

By David Flynn, January 16 2017
Vietnam Airlines to fly Sydney-Hanoi from March 2017

Vietnam Airlines will begin direct flights between Sydney and the Vietnamese capital Hanoi from late March, adding the northern city to its current Sydney-Saigon and Melbourne-Saigon schedule.

While Saigon (also known as Ho Chi Minh City) is Vietnam's largest city, business travellers needing to visit the political and bureaucratic epicentre have previously done so via a two hour hop on connecting flights via the busy Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

A spokesperson for Vietnam Airlines confirmed the launch to Australian Business Traveller, with the new non-stop Boeing 787-9 flights expected to be on sale this month.

Beginning March 28 the aptly-named flight VN787 will depart Hanoi at 11.55pm for a 12.15pm arrival into Sydney every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday; the return leg VN786 will be wheels-up from Sydney at 2.15pm starting March 29 to reach Hanoi at 8.50pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The SkyTeam member's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner packs a standard three-class layout with 28 lie-flat business class seats based on the familiar Zodiac Cirrus design popularised by Cathay Pacific...

... with direct aisle access for every passenger, a pleasing mix of open design and per-passenger privacy, plenty of legroom and space for your carry-on kit plus a long fully flat bed.

There are 35 premium economy seats with a 38 inch pitch, 20 inches wide and a seven inch recline, arranged 2-3-2 layout...

... while down the back of the bus, the economy cabin adopts a common 3-3-3 layout, with a tighter 32 inch pitch, 18 inch seat width and 6 inches of recline.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1199

I don't think the PE and Y seats are the same width.  The PE seats look visually wider as well as having a much wider armrest.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1422

Reeves35 I dont think it was suggeted that were the same width given they are seven across versus 9 across for economy.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2539

Earlier version of the article (based on info from SeatGuru) referenced SeatGuru's incorrect 'same width' stat – now updated to correct widths.


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 586

All depends upon how one measures seat width I reckon. Some measure the distance between the armrests and others the width of the seat at shoulder height.

Looking at the pics the actual space between the armrests seems much the same, but in premium each passenger gets two armrests and more shoulder room.

Similar issue when comparing pitch too. Some airlines have a smaller pitch, but thiner seats so have more or simlar actual knee room, than seats with greater pitch but thicker seat back.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

02 Sep 2014

Total posts 17

With the fares they charge to Europe that biz class looks like a steal compared to the likes of BA/CX/EK/QF who consistently value their products much higher than their worth. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 118

I just returned back from a trip to Europe on VN.

Their business class (787s SYD-SGN and A350s SGC-CDG and back) was outstanding. 
HCMC (Saigon) was not the most exciting place to have a connection.
Nonetheless it was an awesome deal for my AU$3800, although they started increasing fares in 2017.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 148

Ho Chi Minh city hasn't actually been officially called Saigon since it was renamed 40yrs ago... 


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 352

And yet many people know it first and foremost as Saigon, the airport code is SGN and people know why, and everybody knows when you say Saigon that you're also talking about HCMC.

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 49

Yes, and the global expat Vietnamese community still refer to it as Saigon. Aussies should do well, especially the young, to refer to it as Saigon out of respect for the brave ADF personnel who died in the Vietnam Conflict, for freedom. Thank you.


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 586

Southern expat community! Don't say that to a northerner.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 113

This is great, for those who only have an Australian passport it was not always possible to connect through to London with VN but now you can without the need for a visa.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 118

VN organizes visas for you if your fare is anything above bare-bones economy.

If you are travelling business class (not sure about economy), they take your passport to the visa-on-arrival desk to get your visa stamped and then escort you through immigration to the transit hotel and back to the airport (or to your connecting domestic flight if you need to connect from HCMC to Hanoi).

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Use of a transit hotel was offered to you for free? Their airfares are really attractive but the long layovers have always put me off booking.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 118

Yes the room (Ramana hotel) was free and quite good.

Its location, its free food offering as well as VN transit tour left me less unimpressed.
Make sure to contact VN to book one of their transit options after booking the flight.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

16 May 2011

Total posts 112

Hopefully MEL-HAN not too far off either!


13 Sep 2013

Total posts 114

The Hanoi-Prague announcement shouldn't be too far away either

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

20 Dec 2013

Total posts 31

Just got back this week on my third MEl-SGN-LHR trip in VN's business in three years. Six stopovers in SGN and six different hotels and all hotels were very good.  On the way back from LHR this week,  we stayed at a four star hotel near the airport. The room was very good and we were given lunch and dinner as well as the offer of a free tour of the city which we didn't take as we'd done it on a previous trip. Remember to take a few spare passport sized photos of yourself as they need to stick one on the one day visa. The brand new B787-9 Dreamliners are very nice at the pointy end of the plane. Good to see VN get rid of the A330 and the tired B777. The new A350 from Hanoi to LHR was also very good. For $3800, this is extremely good value for money. However, I wish they could do something about the long layovers. 

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