Vietnam Airlines closely monitors commercial flights to the United States

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Vietnam Airlines is closely studying the operation of scheduled flights to the United States. After operating several repatriation flights from cities across the United States last year, the airline is seeing demand for additional repatriation flights. However, he now wants to consider running regular commercial services.

Vietnam Airlines wants to fly to the United States using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Getty Images

Vietnam Airlines looks at US flights

Vietnam Airlines plans to launch regular commercial operations from the United States, according to a report from VnExpress. Mainly interested in meeting the repatriation needs of Vietnamese citizens to the United States, the airline hopes that the United States government will allow the carrier to operate scheduled flights.

The board of directors of Vietnam Airlines has approved a plan to launch flights operated by Boeing 787 to the United States. The aim is to maximize revenue by targeting repatriated passengers at a time when scheduled international air services to Vietnam are at one of the lowest periods in recent history.

Vietnam United States
Regular non-stop flights between the United States and Vietnam seemed imminent just before the start of the pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Repatriation flights brought Vietnam Airlines to the United States

Last year, as Vietnam closed its doors to international air travel, Vietnam Airlines handled a slew of repatriation flights. In fact, the airline’s repatriation missions brought it to American soil for the first time by bringing passengers back to Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines flew from San Francisco, Washington DC and Houston. Primarily using Boeing 787-10s, the airline focused on transporting as many people as possible within the limits of the number of repatriations it could make.

The problem with these flights operated by Boeing 787-10 was that the carrier had to stop en route to Vietnam due to the long distance between the United States and Vietnam and the heavier load on the jets. The airline chose to stop in Anchorage on the way back to Vietnam.

What might commercial flights look like?

In 2019, Vietnam Airlines excitedly announced that it had received clearance from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate flights to the United States. The airline was cleared to fly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh to US destinations including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle and Dallas.

He also had the option of making a subsequent trip to Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto. The airline could also serve the United States via intermediate points such as Taipei, Osaka or Nagoya. The DOT has given the airline some flexibility to route its US flights.

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787
Vietnam Airlines has the planes with the range to fly nonstop within the United States or via an intermediate point. Photo: Getty Images

From these points, Vietnam Airlines could share codes with its SkyTeam partner, Delta Air Lines, providing additional information to operate certain US routes.

In addition to the Boeing 787-10, Vietnam Airlines also operates Boeing 787-9s. These planes have the range to allow non-stop flights to the United States and are configured for long-haul international travel. In the past, the airline has flown these planes on routes out of cities like Sydney.

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The first possible commercial flights could include operations from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco, Seattle or Los Angeles. The west coast is more likely to get flights to Asia nonstop. From these cities, Vietnam Airlines can target certain connecting passengers and tap into the base of Vietnamese citizens who would fly nonstop to Vietnam.

Getty Airlines
Vietnam Airlines also owns Airbus A350s, but it appears the carrier has chosen the Dreamliner for flights within the United States. Photo: Getty Images

If Vietnam Airlines operated these flights non-stop, it would have a monopoly on them. No carrier currently flies nonstop between the continental United States and Vietnam, but there has been a lot of interest from other carriers, including Bamboo Airways.

For now, Vietnam Airlines is seeking government approval to operate more non-stop flights from the United States to Vietnam. A move that could have lasting positive effects on air connectivity between the two countries, time will tell how Vietnam Airlines operates these flights.

Do you think Vietnam Airlines should fly nonstop between the US and Vietnam? Should these routes continue even after repatriation needs are met? Let us know in the comments!


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