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Vietnamese carriers test routes over Cambodia

Two Vietnamese airlines have reportedly commenced flight simulations of routes over Cambodian airspace in an effort to cut travel time between that country’s two major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

Vietnamese media reported yesterday that both Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air had on Friday commenced flight simulations of the new paths, dubbed the “golden air route”, with Boeing 777, Airbus A321 and A320 simulators.

The two carriers have until Wednesday to conduct the simulations over the south of Laos and the northwestern corner of Cambodia, before aviation authorities in all three countries decide whether to allow the new route, according to Vietnamese news site tuoitrenews.vn.

Chhun Sivorn, director of air navigation at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation in Cambodia (SSCA), said the airlines’ proposal to fly across Cambodian airspace was warranted.

“The Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority requested us to facilitate Vietnamese airlines to fly their domestic flights. Currently, those airlines fly over their own territory rather than through Laos and Cambodia, and it takes a very long time,” Sivorn said.

In July, Vietnamese Transport Minister Dinh La Thang called on both the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam and Cambodia’s SSCA to discuss allowing the new flight routes.

According to the minister, the Vietnamese airlines stand to save $300 million in fuel per year if the SSCA and the Lao government agree to the new routes.

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