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Emirates launches direct flights to Vietnam

Emirates Airline has launched a daily nonstop service from Dubai to Ho Chi Minh City, as the carrier continues to expand its business in Southeast Asia.

The airline now uses an Airbus A330-200 on the route to Ho Chi Minh City, but the service will be operated by a Boeing 777-300 ER from October 28, the Gulf-based carrier said in a release.

"Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, with Ho Chi Minh City, home to over 7 million people, recognized as its commercial capital," the airline said. The city is the carrier's 124th destination.

"Emirates will offer tourists and business travelers, particularly from the Middle East, Africa and Europe, a convenient option to access Vietnam," said Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline. "Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most vibrant places in Southeast Asia, and we are convinced that this will prove to be a highly popular route."

Trade between the UAE and Vietnam exceeded US$24 million in 2010, and Emirates, through its cargo arm SkyCargo, has had an active presence in the market for a number of years, the airline said.

"Vietnamese exports which range the full value chain from high-end tablet PCs, smart phones and printers to garments, sportswear and shoes have been shipped through other Emirates' Asian gateways, including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong onto European, American, Middle Eastern and African markets,"  the carrier added.