TT Meridian, a leading international logistics and trading company specialising in the UK and Vietnam markets, on May 19 announced a new all-cargo air route between the UK and Vietnam via Turkmenistan.
A Turkmenistan Airlines cargo plane at London Stansted Airport is about to fly back to Vietnam, transiting Turkmenistan. (Photo: VNA)
TT Meridian, an international logistics and trading company specialising in the UK and Vietnam markets, has become the first Vietnamese business in the UK to open an all cargo air route between Vietnam and the UK via Turkmenistan.
The new route, announced by the company on May 19, is operated by Turkmenistan Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkmenistan.
The first all cargo air route between Vietnam and the UK is expected to boost bilateral trade activities as the UK-Vietnam free trade agreement (UKVFTA) came into effect in May 2021. Under UKVFTA, both governments have committed to promoting trade and economic cooperation by reducing or eliminating import tariffs on a wide range of products, removing trade barriers, and creating a more favourable business environment.
Thai Tran, Managing Director of TT Meridian said, “TT Meridian as the cargo sales agent handling the UK to Vietnam leg is delighted to announce this new flight route. We believe it will provide exporters, importers and forwarding agents with more choices in addition to the existing direct and indirect services available in the market.”
Thai expected the new UK-Vietnam all cargo flight will pave the way for more goods to be air transported between the two countries as well as for higher frequency of two-way all cargo flights.
Thai pointed out that new all cargo service using A330 aircraft that can carry 30 tonnes will also enable shippers to send large shipments that cannot be served by passenger flights.
From May, the flight departs from London Stansted Airport to Turkmenistan’s Ashgabat International Airport on Wednesday evening, local time. Transit time is approximately 4 hours. It then departs from Ashgabat International Airport on Thursday morning and arrives at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon local time. The return flight departs from Hanoi on Thursday evening and arrives at London Stansted Airport on Wednesday morning the following week. Transit time is 5-6 days.
Together with Turkmenistan Airlines, Swissport and ACSV (the ground handling agents in London and Hanoi respectively) and other partners, TT Meridian operated a few trial flights in the past few weeks, Thai said, adding he believes the quick connection time in Turkmenistan, the transit point between the UK and Vietnam, and the competitive air freight will be supportive for forwarding agents, shippers and consignees during this challenging economic time.
Despite the global recession, there has been a notable growth in movement of physical products from Vietnam to the UK and vice versa. According to the UK Department for Business and Trade, total Vietnam exports to the UK in 2022 amounted to 5.9 billion GBP (7.34 billion USD), an impressive increase of 30.3% against 2021. Total UK exports to Vietnam in 2022 was 1.0 billion GBP, a year-on-year increase of 22.3%./.