Dubai: The UAE, represented by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), signed an air services memorandum of understanding with Vietnam in Dubai last Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by Laila Ali Bin Hareb, Executive Director of Strategy and International Affairs of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and Vo Huy Cuong, Director of Vietnam's Air Transport Department of the Civil Aviation Administration.

Representatives of the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Sharjah Department of Civil Aviation, Ras Al Khaimah Department of Civil Aviation, Etihad Airways, Emirates airline and RAK Airways attended the negotiations.

The move will allow UAE-based airlines Emirates and Etihad to begin flights to the Southeast Asian country.

It will also help Vietnamese businesses enter the UAE market in a bigger way.

Full flexibility

The two delegations agreed that any number of designated airlines of both parties will have the right to perform scheduled air services.

The UAE delegation designated Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, RAK Airways and flydubai as UAE national airlines under the agreement.

The Vietnamese delegation designated Vietnam Airline as its designated carrier.

The deal allows full flexibility on the routes, capacity, number of frequencies and types of aircraft, in any type of service (passenger or cargo).

The memorandum also includes the exercise of Fifth Freedom traffic rights.

In addition, both parties agreed to allow unrestricted non-scheduled operations between the two countries.

Commenting on this agreement, Laila Hareb said: "The signed deal between the UAE and Vietnam considered the most open air services MoU signed by the Vietnam government.

Common interests

It followed a recent high ranking official visit by UAE officials to Vietnam to strengthen the bonds of cooperation and communication with Vietnam to achieve common interests, and expand the horizons of joint trade and investment, especially in infrastructure and energy, tourism and aviation," she added.

Bin Hareb said: "The UAE is considered one of the biggest investors in Vietnam with the total capital in ongoing projects amounting to $3 billion."