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10:08 am | August 15, 2023

The initial all-cargo air route connecting Vietnam and the UK has been inaugurated

Announced by the company on May 19, the novel air route is operated by Turkmenistan Airlines, the national carrier of Turkmenistan.

This groundbreaking all-cargo air route linking Vietnam and the UK is poised to invigorate bilateral trade, synergizing with the implementation of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) in May 2021. Under the UKVFTA, both governments have pledged to foster trade and economic collaboration through the reduction or elimination of import tariffs on a wide array of products, the removal of trade barriers, and the creation of a more conducive business environment.

Thai Tran, Managing Director of TT Meridian, remarked, “As the cargo sales agent overseeing the UK to Vietnam leg, TT Meridian is thrilled to introduce this fresh flight route. We believe it will provide exporters, importers, and forwarding agents with more options, complementing the existing direct and indirect services available in the market.”

Thai anticipates that the newly established all-cargo flight between the UK and Vietnam will facilitate increased air transportation of goods between the two nations, while also boosting the frequency of two-way all-cargo flights.

He highlighted that the use of A330 aircraft capable of carrying 30 tonnes in this all-cargo service will cater to large shipments that are not feasible through passenger flights.

The flight schedule, commencing in May, involves departures from London Stansted Airport to Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat International Airport on Wednesday evenings, local time. The transit duration is approximately 4 hours. The return journey departs from Ashgabat International Airport on Thursday mornings, arriving at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Thursday afternoons, local time. The return flight from Hanoi leaves on Thursday evenings and arrives at London Stansted Airport on Wednesday mornings the following week, with a transit time of 5-6 days.

Collaborating with Turkmenistan Airlines, Swissport, ACSV (ground handling agents in London and Hanoi), and other partners, TT Meridian conducted several trial flights in recent weeks. Thai expressed confidence that the swift connection time in Turkmenistan, the intermediary point between the UK and Vietnam, combined with competitive air freight rates, will be supportive for forwarding agents, shippers, and consignees during these challenging economic times.

Despite the global economic downturn, a notable surge in the movement of physical goods between Vietnam and the UK has been observed. According to the UK Department for Business and Trade, Vietnam’s total exports to the UK in 2022 reached 5.9 billion GBP (7.34 billion USD), marking an impressive 30.3% increase compared to 2021. In parallel, the total UK exports to Vietnam in 2022 amounted to 1.0 billion GBP, reflecting a year-on-year growth of 22.3%.


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