Home Vietnam Travel GuideHow to Get Around Vietnam by Air

How to Get Around Vietnam by Air

Taking an airplane is definitely the best way to travel within Vietnam. It's safe, convenient, inexpensive, and timesaving. If time is limited and it's convenience you're after, we recommend you travel by air.

Quick Facts

  • The most convenient way to travel in Vietnam is by air
  • There are over 20 airports in Vietnam, of which Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City is the largest
  • There are 3 main airports in Vietnam. These are: Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang International Airport (DAD) in Da Nang
  • 6 companies mainly operate domestic air routes. The biggest, most influential and reliable of these is Vietnam Airlines
  • The most popular routes within Vietnam cost around $100 or less

Reasons for Taking an Airplane Around Vietnam

Vietnam is an S-shaped country with a north-to-south distance of about 1,650 kilometers (1,025 miles), and traveling by car, bus, or train over such long distances can often prove to be prohibitively time-consuming.

Furthermore, covering long distances by road in Vietnam is far from comfortable, due to the country's underdeveloped infrastructure. It takes a long time to travel by road, and the journey is both slow and bumpy. For shorter distances (for example: Hanoi to Halong Bay), however, traveling by car is comfortable enough.

Rail travel, while relaxing and slightly less expensive than catching a flight, is also time-consuming when covering longer distances. For example: it takes 14 hours and 12 minutes to get from Hanoi to Da Nang by train. The same journey can be completed in under an hour-and-a-half by air.

Overall, air travel, while more expensive than other modes of transportation in Vietnam, is the best way to travel between Vietnam's major cities. As already mentioned, it's safe, convenient, relatively inexpensive, and timesaving.

Popular Domestic Routes in Vietnam

Most visitors usually visit Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City. The flying sequence is:

  • Hanoi (your port of entry in Vietnam) — Hanoi to Da Nang (then transfer from Da Nang to Hue or Hoi An by private car) — Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City — departure from Ho Chi Minh City.

Some visitors may want to include Phu Quoc Island in the above-mentioned itinerary. In this case, the new itinerary would be as follows:

  • Hanoi (your port of entry in Vietnam) — Hanoi to Da Nang (then transfer from Da Nang to Hue or Hoi An by private car) — Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City — Ho Chi Minh City to Phu Quoc Island — Phu Quoc Island to Ho Chi Minh City — departure from Ho Chi Minh City.

Similarly, if you're keen on including either Mui Ne or Da Lat to the original itinerary, the new itinerary would be as follows:

  • Hanoi (your port of entry in Vietnam) — Hanoi to Da Nang (then transfer from Da Nang to Hue or Hoi An by private car) — Da Nang to Mui Ne or Da Lat — Mui Ne or Da Lat to Ho Chi Minh City — departure from Ho Chi Minh City.

Booking Domestic Flights in Vietnam

Tickets can be purchased online on any of the airline websites. Most airlines accept online payment, and issue e-tickets. You can take a look at flight schedules before booking your tickets, but it's important to mention here that the process is far from seamless.

It's better to purchase tickets from a travel agent. Ticket prices are the same as the published fare, and the entire process is hassle-free. Agents are reliable and have the schedules of all the airlines. They will inform you of any flight changes, and help craft the best itinerary to suit your travel needs.

We do, however, advise that you double-check all details on your ticket to avoid any unwanted problems.

Airlines

Of the 6 main airline companies in Vietnam, Vietnam Airlines — a state-owned corporation — is the biggest and most influential. It takes up approximately 70% of the domestic market share.

Other notable carriers include: Jetstar Pacific, Air Mekong, Vietjet Air, Blue Sky Air, and Vasco.

Vietnam Airlines, however, remains the preferred airline for most visitors. It is popular among travelers as it's reliable, convenient, and has prices comparable to other airlines. We choose to stick with it when making reservations for our guests, due to its excellent reputation.

Popular Routes and Prices

Here's an easy-to-consult guide highlighting all the important flight routes within Vietnam, the airline companies operating these routes, and the prices for each:

Popular Routes Operating Airlines Price
Ho Chi Minh City—Hanoi Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Air Mekong About $100 (one-way)
Ho Chi Minh City—Da Nang Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific About $70 (one-way)
Hanoi—Da Nang Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific About $70 (one-way)
Hanoi—Phu Quoc Air Mekong About $85 (one-way)
Ho Chi Minh City—Phu Quoc Vietnam Airlines and Air Mekong About $50 (one-way) 

NB The prices mentioned above are approximate.

Visit Vietnam with Asia Highlights

Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you design your perfect trip to Vietnam. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you in selecting destinations, accommodations and activities that best suit your requirements.

Check out the following links to learn more about our tours and get a head start on planning your hassle-free vacation today!

9-Day Best of Vietnam with Mekong Delta

13-Day Vietnam Classic Wonders with Sapa

14-Day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Tour

You might like to read

The Best Ways to Get Around Vietnam

Boat Tours in Vietnam

Eco Tours in Vietnam

How to Plan a Vietnam Trip