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Vietravel to conduct charter flights to Fukushima

Released at: 08:00, 02/09/2017

Vietravel to conduct charter flights to Fukushima

Photo: Cherry blossom in Fukushima. Photo: Viettravel

Flights to Japanese city to begin during next spring's cherry blossom season.

by Le Diem

One of the leading Vietnamese tour operators, Vietravel, has officially launched a plan to conduct charter flights from Vietnam to Fukushima in Japan from next year.

It will cooperate with low-cost carrier Vietjet Air to fly 15 direct charter flights starting next spring.

Fukushima is the capital of Fukushima Prefecture. Located along the foothills of the Azuma mountain range about 40 km inland from the Pacific Ocean, Fukushima is not a major tourist destination but offers a variety of natural and seasonal attractions, including hot springs, hiking trails in spectacular volcanic landscapes, and Hanamiyama, one of Japan’s most pleasant cherry blossom spots.

Some 3,000 Vietnamese are expected to visit between February and April, the cherry blossom season and also the Tet (lunar new year) holiday in Vietnam, when many people travel abroad. Vietravel will charge $1,188 per person, a saving of about 30 per cent, for tours that take in Fukushima, Ibaraki, Mito, Mt. Fuji, and Tokyo over five days.

Vietravel took nearly 700 visitors to Fukushima on pilot charter flights last year and so far this year. With 15 flights between February and April 2018, it will take about 3,000 visitors, a record for charter flights to Fukushima.

Vietravel has been introducing several charter flights in recent years, to Phuket in Thailand, Sanya in China, Jeju in South Korea, and Fukushima.
It said the tours are warmly received by travelers for their cheaper cost, good services, and the punctual departures.

Charter flights is a term for tours with a leased aircraft and its crew. There are many advantages in using this type of flight, such as time and cost savings, and more and more travel companies are offering such flights.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, 233,000 Vietnamese visited Japan in 2016, a 26 per cent increase against 2015 and four-fold the number in 2012. As at July, 181,900 Vietnamese had traveled to Japan, up 28.6 per cent year-on-year. Some 6.5 million Vietnamese traveled abroad last year, a 15 per cent increase against 2015. China, Singapore, and Thailand were among the most popular destinations, with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan considered emerging destinations.

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