Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek discussed a possible launch of direct flights between Hanoi and Prague, police cooperation and exchange of information with his Vietnamese counterpart To Lam in Vietnam on Monday, the Czech interior ministry reported.
Hanoi agreed to open direct flights during Czech President Milos Zeman’s official visit to Vietnam in 2017.
Last April, Prague Airport representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bamboo Airways to collaborate on the development of a direct flight and increased tourism between the Czech Republic and Vietnam.
“By signing the Memorandum with Bamboo Airways, we have confirmed the interest of both parties in opening a direct connection from the Czech Republic to Vietnam. Around 100,000 passengers a year already travel between the two countries, and with the new flight the potential could be even greater,” said Vaclav Rehor, Chairman of the Prague Airport’s Board of Directors.
The Czech Republic counts one of the biggest Vietnamese communities in Europe (the largest per capita), with over 100.000 Vietnamese people currently residing in the country.
Many first came to this country in the Communist era, when Vietnam sought to bolster its skilled workforce by sending thousands of students and guest workers to socialist Czechoslovakia for training and experience.
When the Iron Curtain disappeared, a large number of the Vietnamese here decided to stay rather than return to communist Vietnam.
Vietnam’s direct air links to Western Europe are limited to services operated by Vietnam Airlines, Air France, and Edelweiss. Vietnam Airlines serves Frankfurt, Paris Charles De Gaulle, and London Heathrow from both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Air France operates a Ho Chi Minh City-Paris Charles De Gaulle service, while Edelweiss’s Ho Chi Minh City-Zurich service is operated in during northern winter season.