GSA: Happily ever after in Hanoi

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Finnair’s summer fling with Hanoi looks set to become a long-term love affair.

The first impression most visitors have of Hanoi is one of furious commercial activity: bustling markets, shops teeming with a mesmerizing array of goods, people doing business on every street corner. 
 
The somewhat manic atmosphere of Hanoi’s Old Quarter confirms what economists have been predicting for some time: this dynamic city of 6.5 million is evolving into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. 

Non-stop service

Hanoi’s economic resurgence was one the key drivers behind Finnair’s move to initiate a non-stop service between Europe and the Vietnamese capital this summer. Taking advantage of Helsinki’s convenient geographical location as a speedy gateway to Asia, Finnair is currently the only European airline to offer a direct connection to Vietnam. 
 
The service with long-haul passenger aircraft was launched on June 16, with three flights a week operating through the summer season (until October 27 2013). The service is scheduled to resume in June 2014.

Two-way pull

“So far, interest in the Vietnamese market has been extremely promising. I am confident that non-stop flights between Hanoi and Europe will create new business opportunities for both Vietnamese and European companies,” says Jan Skutnabb, Finnair Cargo Sales Director for Southeast Asia & Korea.
 
With output growing in the garment, electronics and high-tech industries, the local economy is flourishing and rising standards of living are fuelling demand for goods imported from Europe and the US. This offers Finnair good opportunities for two-way cargo traffic, notes Skutnabb.
 
“Working with the Vietnamese has been easy. We have an excellent partner in Vietnam,” he adds.
 
Finnair’s global sales agent in Hanoi is Vector Aviation, whose sales team meets with customers every day to introduce Finnair services, collect feedback and chart areas of potential demand. Vector’s team personally supervises the build-up process and loading of the aircraft to make sure all shipments are handled smoothly through to their final destination.

Electronics production on the increase

“Vietnam is a processing country, and many giant factories have been built around Hanoi by corporations such as Samsung, Nokia and Foxconn. Offering low labour costs, Hanoi is a very attractive location for investors,” explains Ms Nguyen Thi Khanh Dzung, General Manager of Vector Aviation’s Hanoi-based operation.
 
With two factories based in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen Province, Samsung Electronics currently accounts for the lion’s share of outgoing air cargo.
 
“Electronics manufacturers in Hanoi are planning to increase their production next year, so there will be even more opportunities for air carriers in the future, especially those with wide-body aircraft,” adds Ms Dzung.
The main products currently shipped out of Hanoi by Finnair are electronics, garments and shoes. Salmon and other perishable seafoods are the main imports shipped in by air.
 
“Now that economic rehabilitation is under way, export volumes are predicted to increase 15 per cent this year. Hanoi will continue evolving as an economic hub, as will the whole of Vietnam. We hope to see Finnair expand their network to Ho Chi Minh City soon.”
 
Text by Silja Kudel
 

 

Published September 5, 2013

Category: Local features, Finnair Cargo

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