Vietnam Airlines Gets The Green Light For Canada Flights

Vietnam Airlines has been given the approval to start passenger and cargo flights to any airport in Canada. Even though international travel remains heavily restricted in the North American country, the operator will launch flights to the country this month.

Vietnam Airlines A350
The operations will be conducted by Vietnam Airlines’ Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft. Photo: Airbus

New opportunities

The airline doesn’t operate scheduled commercial flights to North America. There were some special repatriation services last year, but regular flights are yet to launch. Nonetheless, the flag carrier of Vietnam has been looking closely into this scene. North American flights now have even stronger prospects with Transport Canada’s decision to award a Foreign Air Operator Certificate to the airline.

This approval by Canadian authorities means that flights to Toronto Pearson International will start on June 30th. Routesonline reports that the primary goal of these initial trips will be to repatriate citizens of both countries back home. The carrier is also looking to transport Vietnamese students to Canada.

Vietnam Boeing 787-9
The airline was granted approval to serve Canada last year, but only for four months between July and November. Photo: Getty Images

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Overcoming the challenges

Vietnam Airlines is keen to deploy more of its aircraft on long-haul routes. Services had been heavily impacted following restrictions forced by the pandemic. Moreover, Southeast Asia was one of the early regions that had flights heavily suspended early last year.

Now, Vietnam and its neighbors are discussing ways to prepare for the restart of travel for business and certain tourism activity. Amid goals of increasing these sorts of operations, Vietnam Airlines has been preparing to ensure services remain safe and smooth. Thus, it has been partnering with IATA and its travel pass to record and present health records efficiently and securely.

“Being one of the first airlines in Vietnam working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for our passengers and for the industry. We truly believe that our robust digital capabilities along with IATA’s extensive expertise in aviation will bring some success after this trial,” Vietnam Airlines president and CEO Le Hong Ha shared in a statement.

“A digital health credentials initiative such as the IATA Travel Pass should be allowed and widely recognized by governments, thus creating a solution that can help restart flights to and from Vietnam and around the world. The final objective is to restore passenger confidence in flying and to ensure a seamless and safe travel experience for all of them.”

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787
Flights to other locations such as Vancouver from Vietnam Airlines’ bases of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are also on the cards. Photo: Getty Images

The next chapter

Vietnam Airlines will have strong competition in this North American market, with compatriot Bamboo Airways sharing its ambitions to grow in the region. Bamboo has its eyes on Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, and New York, along with Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Canadian airlines are also eager to kickstart international activity again. Long-haul travel to and from the country has largely been suppressed amid ongoing restrictions. However, there is hope for the spark to be reignited this summer with transborder measures set to soon be relaxed. Overall, carriers in both Canada and Vietnam will be keeping a close eye on conditions in the next few months.

Simple Flying reached out to Vietnam Airlines for comment on its flights to Canada. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.

The schedule information in this article was originally published by Routesonline.

What are your thoughts about Vietnam Airlines’ prospects in Canada? Are you looking to head overseas with the carrier this year? Let us know what you think of the operator and its plans in the comment section.