Vietnam Airlines and Air France signed a joint venture agreement on October 10, to begin on November 1.

On the basis of comprehensive cooperation and bringing into full play the strengths of each party, Vietnam Airlines and Air France are committed to providing more choice and convenience to passengers through a combination of the two airlines through regional and world transit centers, including Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat International Airports and Paris-Charles De Gaulle, to 50 destinations in Europe of Air France (compared with 14 points currently) and 21 domestic destinations of Vietnam Airlines, thereby continuing to connect to member carriers of the SkyTeam Airline Alliance to more than 1,000 destinations worldwide.

The two carriers will also exchange experience to improve the quality of their services and implement trade promotion programs to meet the diverse needs of customers, especially regular customers in the LotusMiles (Vietnam Airlines) and Flying Blue (Air France) programs, as well as those in the SkyTeam Airline Alliance, such as SkyPriority and the Business Lounge room.

Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, General Director of Vietnam Airlines, said the carrier and Air France began a code-share arrangement in 2010, when it joined the SkyTeam Airline Alliance. “Reaching joint venture cooperation after completing the four-star quality service program, Vietnam Airlines expects to use the best of Air France’s strengths in the French and European markets to provide convenient services with many benefits for businesses and people, contributing to Vietnam’s development and enhancing connectivity between the two continents,” he said. “The cooperation with Air France also demonstrates Vietnam Airlines’ commitment and determination to enhancing its investment in the international market, especially the French and European markets, through Vietnam - France flights.”

Mr. Franck Terner, General Director of Air France, said the cooperation will bring long-term value to customers and the two carriers. “The joint venture cooperation with Vietnam Airlines is one of the goals of our ‘Trust Together’ strategic development plan,” he said. “Our goal is to maintain and develop the position of Europe’s leading airline in this region of potential.”

Over the past 20 years, Vietnam Airlines and Air France have built a strong relationship in many fields. Since 1997, Air France has cooperated with Vietnam Airlines to train pilots and technicians, while technology transfer successfully exploited ten new A320 aircraft.

Annual passenger numbers between Vietnam and France is about 400,000. In 2016, Vietnam Airlines transported nearly 300,000 passengers on direct flights between the two countries, thanks to the launch of the world’s most modern aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 XWB, and the Skytrax four-star quality service standards over the last two years.