First all-cargo air service between Viet Nam, UK launched

Monday, May 22, 2023 12:08

Turkmenistan Airlines cargo plane at London Stansted Airport is about to fly back to Viet Nam, transiting Turkmenistan. — VNA/VNS Photo

TT Meridian, a leading international logistics and trading company specialising in the UK and Viet Nam markets, last week announced a new all-cargo air route between the UK and Viet Nam via Turkmenistan.

The new route, announced by the company is operated by Turkmenistan Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkmenistan.

The first all-cargo air route between Viet Nam and the UK is expected to boost bilateral trade activities after the UK-Viet Nam free trade agreement (UKVFTA) came into effect in May 2021. Under UKVFTA, both governments have committed to promoting trade and economic cooperation by reducing or eliminating import tariffs on a wide range of products, removing trade barriers, and creating a more favourable business environment.

Thai Tran, Managing Director of TT Meridian said: “TT Meridian as the cargo sales agent handling the UK to Viet Nam leg is delighted to announce this new flight route. We believe it will provide exporters, importers and forwarding agents with more choices in addition to the existing direct and indirect services available in the market.”

Tran expected the new UK-Viet Nam all cargo flight will pave the way for more goods to be air transported between the two countries as well as for higher frequency of two-way all-cargo flights.

Tran pointed out that new all cargo service using A330 aircraft that can carry 30 tonnes will also enable shippers to send large shipments that passenger flights cannot serve.

From May, the flight departs from London Stansted Airport to Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat International Airport on Wednesday evening, local time. Transit time is approximately four hours. It then departs from Ashgabat International Airport on Thursday morning and arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi on Thursday afternoon local time. The return flight departs from Ha Noi on Thursday evening and arrives at London Stansted Airport on Wednesday morning the following week. Transit time is five-six days.

Together with Turkmenistan Airlines, Swissport and ACSV (the ground handling agents in London and Ha Noi respectively) and other partners, TT Meridian operated a few trial flights in the past few weeks, Tran said, adding he believes the quick connection time in Turkmenistan, the transit point between the UK and Viet Nam, and the competitive air freight will be supportive for forwarding agents, shippers and consignees during this challenging economic time.

Despite the global recession, there has been notable growth in the movement of physical products from Viet Nam to the UK and vice versa. According to the UK Department for Business and Trade, total Viet Nam exports to the UK in 2022 amounted to 5.9 billion GBP (US$7.34 billion), an impressive increase of 30.3 per cent against 2021. Total UK exports to Viet Nam in 2022 was 1.0 billion GBP, a year-on-year increase of 22.3 per cent. — VNS

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