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Nov 16, 2021 / 19:05

Vietnam Airlines - first Vietnamese airline to operate commercial direct flights to the US

The first non-stop flight is expected to take off on November 28, twenty years after Vietnam Airlines opened its representative office in the US.

Vietnam Airlines has become the first Vietnamese airline to operate non-stop commercial direct flights between Vietnam and the US.

 The announcement and acceptance ceremony. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

At the event on November 16, on behalf of US authorities, Charles Ranado, Commercial Counselor at the US Embassy in Vietnam, handed over the certification to Vietnam Airlines.

The first flight is expected to take off on November 28, marking the 20-year establishment of Vietnam Airlines’ representative office in the US to lay the foundation for the process of building a direct route between the two countries.

The flight, using wide-body aircraft Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, is expected to depart on the evening of November 28  from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and return to HCMC on December 1.

From December, Vietnam Airlines will regularly operate non-stop commercial service between HCMC and San Francisco with a frequency of two flights per week.

The frequency will increase to seven flights per week after the pandemic is under control and the Vietnamese Government allows the reopening of regular international routes.

The flights will be carried out by Vietnam Airlines' most modern wide-body fleet, Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

Previously, on November 4, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a license for Vietnam Airlines to regularly operate non-stop passenger and cargo flights between Vietnam and the US. 

The FAA is the final licensing agency of the US authorities and this certificate is a legal prerequisite for Vietnam Airlines to be allowed to operate regularly scheduled operations to the US.

The FAA certificate is valid for an unlimited time and allows Vietnam Airlines to proactively build the frequency and deploy the operation plan according to the airline's needs.

This is an important difference compared with the license that the US has granted to other Vietnamese airlines to fly to the US in the form of charter flights with limited conditions on the number of flights, time, and frequency.