The Seagull Airlines will launch the Hanoi - Ha Long bay route in the northern province of Quang Ninh this September, usingCessna Grand Caravan EX hovercrafts.
On June 11, the airline received the two Cessna Grand Caravan EX hovercrafts from the US, for transport to another factory for buoy installation. These hovercrafts will travel to Hanoi in August, and officially begin operating the Hanoi - Ha Long bay route.
This 15.87 meter wingspan Cessna Grand Caravan EX is a modern hovercraft of US design and manufacture. Its capacity is up to 12 passengers, with a maximum cruising speed of 343 km/h and a maximum range of 1,674 km. By installing a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140 867 SHP turboprop engine mounted in the nose of the aircraft fuselage, it is capable of take off and landing on land, ocean, river and lake surfaces.
Mr Luong Hoai Nam, a representative of Seagull Airlines said that the total travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long bay now is around 30 minutes instead of 3 to 4 hours travel by road. Passengers will also enjoy the beauty of the ocean from a 150-3,000 metre altitude