Vietnam Airlines could announce flights to the United States soon. Earlier in the year, Vietnam had its FAA safety rating raised to category 1. Now, Vietnam Airlines has been granted a foreign air carrier permit by the US Department for Transport.
Vietnam’s aviation industry is growing at a rapid pace. This is tied in with the growth of the country’s tourism industry. As a result, several Vietnamese carriers are eyeing flights to the United States of America. Vietnam Airlines could be closest to offering this, having been granted a foreign air carrier permit for the country.
Vietnam’s category 1 status
In February of this year, the Federal Aviation Administration upgraded Vietnam’s safety rating. What had sat at category 2 was changed to category 1. Speaking about the Category 1 status, the FAA previously said:
A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation authority meets the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards for personnel licensing, operations, and airworthiness. With the Category 1 rating, Vietnamese air carriers that are able to secure the requisite FAA and DOT authority can establish service to the United States and carry the code of U.S. carriers.
Will Vietnam Airlines operate to the United States?
It has been known for a while that Vietnam Airlines is eying flights to the United States. One city that the airline is particularly interested in is to Los Angeles. Currently, there is no direct link from the city to Ho Chi Minh. However, Los Angeles has a large Vietnamese expat population. When returning to Vietnam, passengers have to travel via a third country such as China.
Indeed, Vietnam was the airline which lobbied for the FAA to asses the nation for a category 1 rating. Now the airline has received a foreign air carrier permit from the US Department for Transport.
The carrier’s new authorisation covers a number of routes. According to Flight Global, Vietnam Airlines will be able to fly to five United States cities. This includes Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Seatle, and San Francisco. Additionally, the carrier will be able to fly to these cities via Taipei, Osaka and Nagoya. However, the permission also extends to flights continuing to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.
As such, given the effort that Vietnam has gone through to get as far as they have, it is unlikely that the carrier will give up on plans to fly to the United States. However, other carriers are also eyeing flights to the United States from Vietnam. In fact, Bamboo Airlines suggested using an Airbus A380 for the purpose.
When do you think Vietnam Airlines will announce Vietnam flights? Let us know in the comments!