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Vietnam Airlines successfully operates first direct flight to US



A flight coded VN98 of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport landed safely at San Francisco Airport in the US on November 29.

Vietnam Airlines successfully operates first direct flight to US hinh anh 1

Vietnam Airlines successfully operates its first direct flight to the US. 

From November 28, Vietnam Airlines regularly operates two flights per week between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco. The airline plans to increase the number to seven flights per week after the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled and the Vietnamese Government allows the reopening of regular international routes.

Vietnam Airlines also considers opening more routes between Los Angeles of the US and Hanoi or HCM City. All flights between Vietnam and the US will use the most modern wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

According to Vietnam Airlines General Director Le Hong Ha, more than a year ago, Vietnam Airlines became the first Vietnamese airline flying directly to the US to bring home Vietnamese citizens.

Its direct flight to the US marked a big step forward for the firm and a historic milestone for Vietnam’s aviation industry, he said.

It took the direct flight 13 hours and 45 minutes to reach the US. The flight used Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the most modern wide-body aircraft in the world manufactured by the US’s Boeing Company.

Director of San Francisco International Airport Ivar C. Satero said the event has made the airport the US’s leading gateway for passengers from Vietnam to access areas in the San Francisco Bay.

Vietnam’s aviation industry and Vietnam Airlines have prepared for 20 years to open a regular air route to the US. The scheme officially completed on November 4 this year after the national flag carrier officially received a permit from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate non-stop commercial flight service between the two countries.

The event is hoped to contribute to promoting economic cooperation, cultural exchange and relations between Vietnam and the US.

Statistics show that the Vietnam – US aviation market counted 1.4 million passengers in 2019, growing at an average of 8 percent per year in the period 2017-2019./.

Source: VNA



Asia Coffee — Tepid trade in Vietnam ahead of holiday, scarce supplies in Indonesia



Vietnam coffee prices edged down amid dull trade ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, while trade has not yet picked up in Indonesia as stocks remain low until at least March, traders said on Thursday.

Farmers in the Central Highlands sold coffee at VND38,800 to VND40,200 ($1.71 to $1.78) per kg, little changed from last week’s range of VND38,800 to VND40,700.

“Prices are declining on increasing supplies but tepid demand,” said a trader in the coffee belt, adding that prolonged supply chain disruptions contributed to lacklustre trade.

“Farmers are holding on to beans as they are not under pressure to sell for the upcoming long holiday anymore. Some have already shut their shops.”

Markets in Vietnam will close next week for the holiday and traders said export activities would not resume until it ended.

Traders in Vietnam offered 5% black and broken grade 2 robusta at discounts of $270 to $280 per metric ton to the May contract, versus a range of $250 to $270 a week ago.

March robusta coffee shed $46, or 2%, to stand at $2,191 a metric ton on Wednesday.

Indonesia’s Sumatran robusta beans were offered at a discount of $120 per metric ton to the February contract, one trader said.

Another trader offered a discount of $200 a metric ton to the March contract, narrowing from last week’s $250.

“There were barely any new bean supplies and only traders with remaining stock could take part in trading this week,” said a regional trader.

Traders expect a mini-harvest between March and April.

($1 = VND22,645)


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Tet flower sales move online amid COVID fears



Florists are paying more attention to selling online for Tet this year since the COVID-19 pandemic means customers are unwilling to visit shops.

Sau Hai Orchid Farm in HCM City’s Thu Duc City advertises flowers for Tet on its Facebook page. Flower sellers this year are focusing on online sales. 

Huynh Van Hai, owner of Sau Hai Orchid Farm in HCM City’s Thu Duc City, usually sells at a local flower market, but this year he is focusing on online sales to limit close contact, he told Viet Nam News.

“Last year, I took my flowers to the market, but I could not sell much since people were reluctant to come and buy due to COVID. It was a waste of rent.

“This year the number of people visiting my farm to look up flowers, or even just take pictures, is down by half from normal years. Only customers who actually want to buy flowers come.”

Buyers can visit Hai’s Facebook page or call him to place orders, and he offers advice and sends videos to help them choose.

Oanh, who owns a flower shop in HCM City’s Hoc Mon District, told VnExpress online newspaper that she plans to sell all 200 flower pots this year through e-commerce platforms instead of at popular flower-selling streets as she usually does.

So her flowers are cheaper this year since she does not have to rent space.

People buy flowers for Tet, especially the yellow apricot blossom, either to decorate their house or use as offerings in their ancestral altars.

While it is a Tet tradition for families to visit shops to carefully handpick the best flowers to bring home, this year many are reluctant to go out.

Nguyen An Phuong of HCM City’s District 2, told Viet Nam News that she would not visit flower shops this year.

“I have an elderly mother at home, so even though I am fully vaccinated, I am worried about accidentally infecting her. Every year I would go out and handpick flowers myself, but this year I think I will just buy them online.”

Nguyen Hung, a florist in Hoc Mon District, told Tuoi Tre newspaper, “Everything is sold online, not just Tet flowers, because of the ongoing pandemic.”

Flower shops in other provinces are also focusing more on online selling.

Nguyen Van Thu, owner of a flower shop in Binh Duong Province, told Viet Nam News that customers have been visiting the shop’s social media pages to browse for long-lasting flowers such as moth orchids and pigeon orchids.

“Due to the strong development of social media, our flower buyers are gradually switching to online shopping. Our number of direct customers is falling, and they are mostly new, infrequent visitors.”

But he said that the number of customers is still lower than last year due to COVID limiting businesses’ budgets and events, which reduces demand for flowers.

Selling regional speciality foods online

Businesses selling foodstuffs for Tet are also moving online this year.

Nguyen Binh Khiem, who runs a chain of store in Can Tho City selling Mekong Delta specialties such as dried shrimp and sausages, said around 70 per cent of his orders are through social media and telephone, and so he plans to focus on them.

Nguyen Kim Thuy, director of Ky Nhu Co-operative Group in Hau Giang Province, which hopes to sell around 30 tonnes of processed foodstuffs for Tet, said that the group is running advertisements on Zalo and selling its goods on e-commerce platforms.

“Our direct sales this year are lower than other years, but online sales are rising.”

Huynh Thanh Phong, director of the Hau Giang Department of Industry and Trade, said his agency has been helping businesses and co-operative groups sell online.

Source: VNS


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Clothing stores boost sales ahead of holiday



Signs of discounts and sales are everywhere. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — There is only one week left until the Lunar New Year (Tết), and people’s shopping needs are increasing. To attract customers, fashion stores in Hà Nội have launched many attractive promotions.

At the end of the year, fashion stores race to release goods to recover capital after a year of struggling with the pandemic; goods range from only a few tens of thousands Vietnamese đồng to hundreds of thousands.

There are signs of discounts and sales everywhere at the end of the year. Clothing stores are crowded and parking lots are full, especially on weekends. Many have to park in the road and wait.

Having just bought a shirt with a discount of VNĐ69,000 (US$3) and a winter shirt with a discount of 30 per cent, a customer said that Tết was the ideal time to hunt for clothes because of the big discounts.

After Tết, stores gradually switch to selling summer clothes, so many winter clothes were discounted, so shopping at this time can save a lot, she added.

Shoe shops also attract a lot of customers, especially children’s shoe stores. However, buying at the end of the year can be difficult as even though the prices are reduced, the right sizes may no longer be available.

Holding bags of many different fashion brands, Đoàn Thị Thu Trâm, told the Báo Giao Thông (Transport) newspaper that she had bought three items that cost less than VNĐ1 million. Even though they were discounted and the designs were not the latest, she still chose quality products. —


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