Vietnam Airlines gets foreign air carrier permit to fly to the US

By Kieu Mai - Sep 06, 2019 | 03:13 PM GMT+7

TheLEADERVietnam Airlines is the only local carrier awarded the foreign air carrier permit by the US Department for Transport.

Vietnam Airlines gets foreign air carrier permit to fly to the US
Vietnam Airlines currently owns the largest fleet among three local airlines wishing to operate the Vietnam-US routes

The national flag carrier has now been allowed to operate flight routes between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, via the intermediate points Taipei, Osaka and Nagoya, and the coterminal points Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Dallas/Ft. Worth.

It is also permitted to continue these flights to Canadian cities of Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

This is the next step on the airline’s path to turn its dream of flying to the US into reality.

Last month, Vietnam Airlines and Delta Air Lines, the US second largest airlines, upped their codeshare relationship under which Delta Air Lines will distribute seats of Vietnam’s carrier on the Hanoi-Tokyo route from October.

Last year, Vietnam welcomed 757,000 arrivals from the US, up 8 per cent from 2017. Most of this traffic transits through North Asian hubs and there are currently only nonstop flights operated between the two countries.

The US Federal Aviation Administration in February granted a Category 1 rating to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam under its International Aviation Safety Assessment programme, which literally meant the latter now meets the safety standards to operate flights to the US.

Apart from Vietnam Airlines, low-cost air carrier Vietjet Air and new player Bamboo Airways have shown their ambitious to launch direct flights to the US as soon as possible.

Chairman of FLC Group and Bamboo Airways Trinh Van Quyet expressed his expectation that the carrier could start flying to the US by the end of next year.

Vietjet’s plan to operate flights to the US was also revealed in an interview between its billionaire owner Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao with a foreign news agency in late 2017.

Among the aforementioned local airlines eyeing flights to the US, Vietnam Airlines currently owns the largest fleet.

From 2015, it has expanded its wide-body fleet with a total of 14 Airbus A350-900 and 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline is going to add eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners to its fleet with the delivery expected by the end of 2020.