The Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route was ranked the third busiest domestic airline route for September, with 959,309 seats.
Jeju-Seoul in South Korea ranked first with 1.3 million seats, followed by Sapporo New Chitose-Tokyo Haneda in Japan with a little over 967,000 seats.
The busiest international airline route in September was Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Changi, with 326,492 seats.
The busiest flight routes in the world are defined as those with the largest volume of scheduled airline seats for both directions, based on the data gathered by OAG (Official Airline Guide), the world’s leading provider of travel data and insight.
There are currently more than 50 flights from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, departing at least every 30 minutes — a stark contrast to the limited fight frequency in 2021, when Vietnam imposed its strictest COVID-19 social distancing measures.
Being ranked among the busiest domestic flight routes is proof that Vietnam’s aviation industry and domestic tourism are recovering well post-pandemic. During the four-day holiday earlier in September, Noi Bai Airport was serving a daily average of 76,500 passengers aboard more than 400 domestic flights to and from Hanoi.
The Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, meanwhile, handles up to 850 flights a day, more than 40 of which are departing for Hanoi. Tan Son Nhat is currently the largest and busiest airport in Vietnam.
But while domestic flights have gone back to pre-pandemic levels, both in frequency and capacity, the pace of recovery for international travel is considerably slower than expected.
Vietnam has had its eyes set on welcoming five million foreign tourists this year. So far, the country has received 1.65 million foreign visitors, not even half of its full-year target.
Data from the General Statistics Office show that Vietnam’s foreign arrivals in September fell by 11% from July, with only 432,000 visitors. South Korean travelers topped the list of foreign visitors.
Vietnam has been making extensive efforts to lure in big-spending tourism markets, like the US and Europe, by bringing back its pre-pandemic visa policies. Citizens from 24 countries, including EU countries, enjoy a limited visa-free stay in Vietnam.
The country has also scrapped all COVID-related entry requirements. All travelers — regardless of nationality or where they come from — no longer need to present a negative COVID test result and proof of vaccination and can go straight to their travel itinerary upon arrival.
Travel experts said the ongoing Russia-Ukraine territorial dispute and the absence of Chinese tourists are further slowing down inbound travel recovery.