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Budget carrier Vietjet Air, an international airline with head office in Vietnam, is set to open regular direct flights from Ho Chi Minh to Palau, promoting the latter as its newest destination.

Vietjet Air will have scheduled flights to Palau twice a week which will be scheduled every Friday and Tuesday beginning September 20.

The Vietjet Air will carry passengers from Vietnam through its Airbus 320 aircraft which has a seating capacity of 185.

Vietnamese businessman Eric Nguyen, also known as San Mien Nhuan, said that since the airport runway in Palau is not big, the maximum seating capacity when taking off from Vietnam will only be 127.

The new Vietjet route also promises convenience for tourists as it will only take around a four-hour flight to reach Palau from Vietnam.

Nguyen is confident that Palau’s wonderful sceneries has an edge to attract a portion of the 13-million Vietnamese outbound tourists that fly around the world every year. In fact, Nguyen said that Vietjet’s inaugural flight to Palau was already sold out.

A two-way economy ticket from Vietnam to Palau is currently priced at $1,700.

“Vietnamese tourists are high-end. They stay at five-star hotel,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen said that it took him three years to negotiate with Vietnam’s four airline companies and had managed to eventually convince the Vietjet Air. He also shared plans of opening a Vietnam-Japan-Palau route to address the lack of direct flights between Japan and Palau. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)