When will non-stop flights to US begin?

22-May-2019 Intellasia | Vietnamnet | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Bamboo Airways says it may begin providing non-stop flights to the US early next year, while Vietnam Airlines says these flights will be available in two years.

The biggest question raised after Vietnam received a CAT-1 certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration was when the first non-stop flights to the US would be launched.

A direct flight to the US cuts the travel time by eight hours on average.

Vietnam Airlines now can meet the requirements of wide body aircraft which allows for refuelling while passengers remain on the plane. However, Duong Tri Thanh, CEO of Vietnam Airlines, said the first flights of this kind would only be available in one or two years at the soonest.

To prepare for this, Vietnam Airlines in 2008 ordered B787s and set up a division to promote the new air route opening.

“There have been six heads of the division appointed so far. We hope we succeed this time. The Vietnamese people’s community in the US puts high expectations on the air route,” Thanh said.

“However, though Vietnam has the CAT-1, Vietnam Airlines still has to prepare thoroughly,” he said.

Vietnam Airlines has to set up a column on its official website to allow visually and hearing impaired passengers to book tickets. And in order to adjust the design of the website, it may have to spend two years. It will also have to prepare security and anti-terrorism solutions.

While making commercial preparations for non-stop Vietnam-US flights, Vietnam Airlines hopes the progress in aircraft manufacturing technology will better exploit the route.

“I hope that the next-generation aircraft models such as B777max and A350-100, as affirmed by manufacturers, can save fuel well and satisfy technical requirements for long-distance flights,” he said.

“However, there is still pressure put on aircraft engine manufacturers,” he said, adding that CAT-1 is just the first step among many to be taken to put the air route into operation.

Two US airlines that provided non-stop flights to Vietnam in 2004-2007 incurred losses and gave up.

Bamboo Airways’ chair Trinh Van Quyet said that his air carrier would begin providing non-stop flights to the US early the next year. He said that the airline ‘will make a profit as soon as it begins’.

Dau Tu newspaper cited a report of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) as showing that in 2018, Vietnam welcomed 903,830 tourist arrivals from North and South America, including 687,226 from the US. In January 2019, the respective figures were 105,309 and 80,658.



Category: Business, Vietnam

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