Source: Vientiane Times
Lao Airlines, the national flag carrier, has launched a weekly flight to Shanghai to serve the expected influx of Chinese tourists and other passengers during Visit Laos-China Year 2019.
The inauguration took place on the occasion of the formal launch of Visit Laos-China Year in Vientiane.
The flight takes about three and a half hours and is the best option for passengers wanting to avoid transiting through international airports.
And with Chinese New Year rapidly approaching, Chinese expats heading home can take a comfortable direct flight.
Deputy Director of Lao Airlines’ Commercial and Marketing Department, Mr Soulasack Souvannasy, told Vientiane Times yesterday the first flight to Shanghai took off from Wattay International Airport on Monday with over 100 passengers.
“It was a great flight because we welcomed our first passengers, who included tourists, businesspeople and Lao students taking courses in Shanghai,” he said.
According to current plans, Lao Airlines is on track to head north and back four times a week.
“From January to March, Lao Airlines will fly to Shanghai once a week. After March, we will increase flights from once to four times a week in line with the plan,” Mr Soulasack said
Lao Airlines has direct flights to five Asian countries, namely China, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. Foreign airlines providing flights in and out of Laos include AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, China Southern, China Eastern, Jin Air, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines.
In April, the budget arm of Singapore Airlines, Scoot, is set to launch Singapore-Laos flights with tickets starting at US$88, the company announced earlier this month.
Scoot will fly from Singapore to Vientiane and on to Luang Prabang on a circular route. These routes were transferred from its sister airline SilkAir and will use Scoot’s A320 aircraft.
SilkAir launched a service to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in October 2016. It has since stopped the service after poor passenger figures between October 2017 and February last year, according to Channel News Asia.
Lao Airlines also stopped direct Laos-Singapore flights from March 25 last year for operational reasons and, as of now, has no plans to resume flights.
This is the second time that direct flights between the two countries were halted, after Lao Airlines relaunched a Singapore-Laos flight in October 2017.