Tel Aviv, 12 November 2018. – EL AL Israel Airlines and Vietnam Airlines today celebrated the launch of their new codeshare agreement which was signed via an MoU at an event at the Head Office of EL AL Israel Airlines. The ceremony was attended by the CEOs of the two airlines, Mr. Duong Tri Thanh of Vietnam Airlines and Mr. Gonen Usishkin of EL AL Israel Airlines. Also in attendance was the Ambassador of Vietnam to Israel Cao Tran Quoc Hai who brought greetings on behalf of his country.

Gonen Usishkin, CEO of El AL Israel Airlines, said: “Over the last number of years there has been growing traffic between Israel and Vietnam and it was important that the two flag carriers be able to offer our combined passengers a product that includes flying both the flag carriers. We are pleased that we were able to launch this codeshare with Vietnam Airlines and see as this is another integral aspect to building our strategy for future growth with other leading international airlines.”

Duong Tri Thanh, President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines, said: "We are thrilled to expand the partnership with El Al Israel Airlines in time for the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The forging of a codeshare significantly enhances passenger convenience and boosts Vietnam Airlines’ presence in the Middle East. Our recent cooperation with several international airlines has reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to bolstering our services and expanding our reach beyond our network.”

This new codeshare, which was just recently launched on 2 November 2018 aims to provide customers with enhanced flight connectivity possibilities from Tel Aviv via Hong Kong and Bangkok to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The agreement is reciprocal whereby both airlines will place their respective codes on the airlines of the other. In particular, flights are directly operated by Vietnam Airlines on Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City - Bangkok / Hong Kong route and by El Al Israel Airlines on Bangkok / Hong Kong - Tel Aviv route. Passengers will be able to check-in to their final destination and receive boarding cards for their connecting flights.

As a result of this this new codeshare agreement, both EL AL Israel Airlines and Vietnam Airlines are able to strengthen their commitment to providing improved options, while promoting stronger commercial ties between the two countries and encouraging growth in trade and tourism between Israel and Vietnam. After 25 years of diplomatic relations (1973-20180), Israel is one of Vietnam's most important partners in the Middle East with total bilateral trade reaching 1 billion USD per annum and is potentially surpassing the 3 billion USD target in the foreseeable future.