DANANG, Vietnam — Golf courses in central Vietnam are bracing for more business from Japan with confirmation that Jetstar Pacific is launching direct service between Osaka and Danang on Aug. 1.
The first new international flight launched by the budget airline this year comes in response to Japan’s growing interest in Vietnam’s leading beach resort, which was made more accessible to the Land of the Rising Sun in 2014 with direct service from Tokyo-Narita on Vietnam Airlines.
Last year, 15 percent of Danang’s international arrivals last year were from Japan. Now, the sky could be the limit.
“With four flights from Osaka per week, I think we’ll see Japanese arrivals increase to 20 or even 25 percent of market share,” said Jack Hedges, general manager of Ba Na Hills Golf Club, a Luke Donald/IMG collaboration about 30 minutes west of Danang. “Golf is of great interest up there, and central Vietnam has some of the best courses in all of Asia.”
Opened in March, Ba Na Hills Golf Club is the fourth world-class course to come on line in central Vietnam in the past seven years.
The others are Montgomerie Links Vietnam, BRG Danang Golf Resort (formerly Danang Golf Club) and Laguna Lang Co.
Asia’s leading golf tour operator, Golfasian, is the privately funded organization’s other major player.
Danang is Vietnam’s fourth largest city and gateway to some of the country’s most compelling cultural attractions, culinary opportunities and recreational interests.
Last month, Ba Na Hills’ appeal was further enhanced by increased operating hours, made possible by a comprehensive lighting system that allows for night play.
Jetstar Pacific will use a 180-seat Airbus A320 for the seven-hour flight.