Extra flights, tours for Vietnam football fans to attend U23 Asian Cup final
(VNF) - Vietnamese travel agencies are launching special package tours to China's Changzhou city of Jiangsu province to serve football fans who want to watch the final match of the 2018 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) U23 Championship between Vietnam and Uzbekistan on Saturday (Jan 27).
Hanoi Red Tours is offering a three-day tour to Shanghai and Changzhou starting on Friday at a price tag of VND 18.9 million (USD 836), the local firm announced on Wednesday.
Vietravel has launched four package tours to the two Chinese cities at different time frame at prices of VND 20-25 million (USD 885-1,106), including tickets for the final match.
Hanoitourist, AnzTravel, PanvinTours and QueenTour are offering similar tours with starting prices of VND 12.5 million (USD 553).
Nguyen Quang Hai (white shirt, number 19) celebrates after scoring the second goal for the Vietnamese U23 team, bringing the overall score to 2-2 in the U23 Asian Cup semifinal against Qatar. (Photo by VnExpress/Thuong Nhat)
To serve a spike in demand from local football fans, Vietnam Airlines will also put on two extra flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Changzhou.
The airline also plans to offer free shuttle buses to take local fans from the airport, more than 20 kilometers from Changzhou, to the stadium.
“The valiant fighting spirit of the players has made history, making millions of hearts of football fans burst with pride and joy,” a representative from Vietnam Airlines said after the team's dramatic victory over Qatar in their semifinal on Tuesday.
The airline has offered to fund travel, accommodation and visa expenses for two relatives of each member of the country's U23 football team to attend the final match.
To support Vietnam Airlines' offer, Jetstar Pacific has said it will fund domestic connections for relatives to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City so they can take advantage of the free flights to Changzhou.
Local carrier Vietjet Air has also awarded the team and coach Park Hang-seo free flights on 38 domestic routes and 38 international routes to Asian countries.
“This is a reward for our brave warriors, representing a promising young generation of Vietnamese sportsmen. We expect the players will continue to try their best and bring happiness to fans nationwide,” said an airline exec.
Vietjet has also said it will paint images of the football team on its planes if the team wins the championship.
On Tuesday in Changzhou, in an AFC U23 Championship semifinal game, Vietnam defeated Qatar 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a draw of 2-2 at the end of extra-time./.