A VIETNAMESE airline will commence flights to Australia in April, introducing more air cargo capacity between the two countries.

Minister for trade and investment Tim Pallas on Wednesday (11 January) announced VietJet’s decision to fly to Melbourne and set up a national head office in Victoria.

The airline is expected to begin its service from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne Airport by April 2023 with three non-stop flights each week, growing to a daily service by December 2024.

The Victorian government expects the flights to add 3500 tonnes of air freight to Victoria each year.

It said Vietnam is the state’s ninth-largest export market, with air freight exports of Victorian products to Vietnam valued at $113 million in 2021-22, up 77%on the previous year.

“The arrival of another airline from Southeast Asia is a win for the Victorian economy and local jobs – showing the strength of our tourism and export markets,” Mr Pallas said.

Acting minister for industry and innovation Melissa Horne also welcomed the decision.

“We’re supporting airlines like VietJet to fly to Melbourne because it means more opportunities for Victorian businesses to export to the world,” she said.

The new service is backed by the state government and Melbourne Airport. It is expected to lift the state’s economy by $97 million each year once fully operational.

VietJet will be the second Vietnamese airline to establish services to Melbourne since the pandemic after Bamboo Airways commenced flights in April 2022.