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How to Enter Vietnam by Plane

How to Enter Vietnam by Plane

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Feb. 21, 2024

Flying to Vietnam is undoubtedly the best way to get into Vietnam. The country provides a nice airport transport system with an excellent safety record and flights that are mostly on time. Most importantly, Vietnam is well-connected to many major cities in different countries.

Vietnam's International Airports and Airline Carriers

Three international airports in Vietnam are all busy and frequently used: Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang International Airport, and Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh City is the most popular one.

Vietnam Airlines, as the country's official international airline, provides many direct flights from main destinations to Hanoi and HCMC all over the world, such as Paris, Frankfurt, London, Moscow, Sydney, and Melbourne, and about 20 airlines operate between Hanoi/HCMC and other major cities in Asia.

Currently, no direct flights are available from the US and most opt to get in via Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore in Southeast Asia, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong in China, or Tokyo in Japan. It takes more than 20 hours for a trans-Pacific flight trip but less time when traveling from Europe. 

Some great international airlines in other countries also provide the service. In China, Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines service Vietnam by providing several direct flights between China's main cities and Hanoi/HCMC. Other countries' prominent airlines include Air France, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.

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Airfares vary all the time and the cost is affected by the season, airline, and different travel agents. Generally, a journey from the West Coast of North America costs about US$1,500 (return fare), which is the same as when flying from Europe. However, visitors can expect a discounted price during the low season (from May through to October). During the Tet Festival, from December to February, the price soars because many Vietnamese fly in for family reunions.

Getting in from Different Districts Across the World

From US

Destination Non-stop/Need Transit Flight Time Recommended Airlines
United States No direct flights.
Fly via Tokyo in Japan, which takes 6–6½ hours to Vietnam
Over 20 hours All Nippon Airways
Fly via China, which takes about 2-3 hours from Guangzhou/ Hong Kong to Vietnam Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong; China Southern Airlines via Guangzhou,  Air China via Taipei.
Asia Highlights' View If transferring via Japan, there are many flights to choose from. The All Nippon Airways offers a great service but the price is high. It is a similar situation  when transferring via Seoul in South Korea by Korean Air.
When flying via China, visitors can transfer via Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. They all have a 72-hour visa-free policy. It would be a great way to add a fun experience and some unique Chinese culture to your Asian trip. Hong Kong and Taipei are also good options.

From Australia

Destination Non-stop/Need Transit Flight Time Recommended Airlines
Australia Direct flights between Sydney/Melbourne and Hanoi/HCMC Approximately 9 hours Vietnam Airlines
Asia Highlights' View Transfer Options:
AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines often offer discounted prices for flights from Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam.
Singapore Airlines also provides a transfer service via Singapore with a slightly higher price than Air Asia.

From Europe

Destination Non-stop/Need Transit Flight Time Recommended Airlines
Europe Direct flights from Paris/London/Frankfurt/Moscow Approximately 12 hours Vietnam Airlines
Asia Highlights' View Using connecting flights would be cheaper.
  • The cheapest way is to fly via Doha, Abu Dhabi or Dubai with a nice flight service and a comfortable seat. The total flight time will be 14 hours. Departing at night and staying overnight in the plane can avoid the red-eye connecting flight.
  • With only 2 hours' flying time from Bangkok to Vietnam and about 10 flights operating every day, Bangkok has become the most popular transit city for Europeans. The best part is that it will make the most of your travel time. Thai Airlines is recommended.

From Southeast Asia

Destination Non-stop/Need Transit Flight Time Recommended Airlines
SE Asia Direct flights 2 - 3 hours Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airlines, Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
Asia Highlights' View Flights from Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Hanoi/HCMC are expensive. Check the air ticket prices early and you may get a very good discount.

From China

Destination Non-stop/Need Transit Flight Time Recommended Airlines
China Direct flights 2 - 5 hours depending on different destinations. Vietnam Airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air Asia
Asia Highlights' View Regular flights are operated every day between Beijing, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei in China and Hanoi/HCMC in Vietnam. It is easy to check out the air ticket prices and get a good price during the off-peak season.
Flights from Beijing to Vietnam take 4½ hours, Hangzhou/ Shanghai 4 hours while Guangzhou and Hong Kong only take 2½hours.

Get a Vietnam Visa

For visitors visiting for less than 30 days, we recommend apply for e-visa, as it can be done by completing an online application form and can be used for any entrance point.

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