Vietnam Airlines finally lands in the United States

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Vietnam Airlines performed its first non-stop service to the United States. The flight from Ho Chi Minh City landed at San Francisco International Airport at 6:42 p.m. local time on November 28. Vietnamese airline beats Bamboo Airways by launching regular commercial service to the United States. Bamboo has only made one special flight to San Francisco so far.

Vietnam Airlines performed the flight using a Boeing 787-9. Photo: Getty Images

Flight details

Assigned to flight number VN98, the inaugural service from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco departed at 8:40 p.m. local time on November 28. With a flight time of just over 13 hours, the Boeing 787-9 (registration VN-A861) crossed the international deadline and landed at SFO at 6:42 p.m. the same day.

Marketing the service on its website and social media, Vietnam Airlines points out that travel from the Southeast Asian country to the United States has generally required a connection until now, stating:

“The flight between Vietnam and the United States is usually quite long, so when buying a plane ticket to the United States, you often have to pass through a third country before officially setting foot in United States. Part of this causes passengers to feel tired, anxious and overwhelmed in the middle of a crowded airport, encounter language barriers or even miss their flight.

Indeed, rather than passing through a city in China, Taiwan, South Korea or Japan, passengers can now take the direct service of Vietnam Airlines from Ho Chi Minh City.

VN98
The flight time to San Francisco is just over 13 hours. Photo: RadarBox.com

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A successful inaugural performance

By posting photos of the flight on Twitter, Vietnam Airlines called its first direct non-stop flight to the United States a success and “A key stage of development”.

The photos, integrated below, show a special ceremony, as well as scenes from the flight. Choosing the American-made Boeing 787-9, Vietnam Airlines configured the aircraft with 28 business class seats, 35 premium economy seats and 211 standard economy seats.

The airline is also promoting that the flight will feature “food produced in the United States” and accompanied by California wine.

Gradual uphill service

Currently, the carrier will operate the service regularly with a frequency of twice a week. However, Vietnam Plus reports that the carrier plans to increase that number to seven flights per week once the global health crisis is under control and the Vietnamese government allows the reopening of regular international routes.

Vietnam_Airlines_Boeing_787-9_Dreamliner_ (VN-A861) _preparing_for_departure_to_Hanoi_ (VVNB) _at_Frankfurt _-_ Rhein-Main_International_ (EDDF)
Many 787s (but not all) and all Airbus A350s in the Vietnam Airlines fleet are fitted with premium economy class. Photo: Oliver Holzbauer via Wikimedia Commons

The outlet also notes that Vietnam Airlines is also planning to open more routes to the United States, possibly including services to Los Angeles from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Naturally, the airline will deploy its longer range jumbo jets on these services – a choice between the Boeing 787 or the Airbus A350.

It is hoped that this regular service will increase economic activity and strengthen the connection between the two countries.

What do you think of this new service? Is this something that you might steal yourself someday? Let us know by leaving a comment.



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