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Airlines

Vietnam’s Going to Get More Popular

Vietnam’s Going to Get More Popular
Scott Dylan

Vietnam’s tourism industry just got a big boost. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given its approval to Vietnam’s national air-safety system. The move means that Vietnamese airlines will now be able to fly to the United States. What’s more, Vietnam’s national carrier now plans to introduce new flights to California.

Vietnam has been awarded a Category 1 rating from the FAA. This means that the FAA believes that the country’s aviation standards meet the standards that have been set by the United Nations for pilot licensing and operational safety. The FAA’s findings are based on an assessment that was conducted in August of 2018. It was the first time that the FAA had ever assessed Vietnam’s aviation standards.

Vietnam Airlines has been hoping to bring flights to the West Coast of the United States for years. This is partly due to the fact that the West Coast is home to a large population of people with Vietnamese roots. Where will Vietnam Airlines fly once routes finally kick off? The airline is currently considering using San Francisco as its initial destination. A route between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco is likely to be the first route to the United States offered by the carrier.

Airlines in Vietnam aren’t just benefiting from the fact that they can now apply to fly to the United States for the first time. Vietnamese airlines now have the ability to enter into codeshare agreements with other airlines as a result of the new breakthrough. That means that airlines in Vietnam can book passengers from other airlines.

There’s no question that direct routes from Vietnam to the United States could boost Vietnam’s tourism industry in ways that have never been seen by the nation before. However, the competition that will be created could end up making it difficult for Vietnam Airlines to actually make any money on routes between the United States and California. There is no doubt that budget carriers will begin to try to capitalize on routes linking the West Coast and Vietnam now that the barrier to entry has been removed. However, carriers in Vietnam weren’t exactly pushing for permission to fly to the United States. That’s because most carriers essentially understand that these routes will very likely result in losses. It was the government of Vietnam that was really pushing for permission to fly to the United States. Being granted permission to fly to the United States has less to do with giving a boost to the Vietnamese airline industry and everything to do with creating political clout for the country.

American tourists will certainly be interested in at least trying out new routes that are offered to Vietnam from the West Coast. Tourism is huge in Vietnam right now. The nation’s overall economy is expanding by about 7 percent at the moment. That means that people living in Vietnam will also be willing to spend some of their newly found disposable income on flights to the United States. The main airport in Vietnam handled 106 million passengers last year. That figure was up about 13 percent from 2017.

[Source: Wikimedia/ USAFE AFAFRICA]

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. drewdawg199

    March 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Just checking, but this happened like a week ago and this article provides no knew information right?

  2. wxman22

    March 9, 2019 at 4:39 am

    Nice article and while not new, it did provide a good analysis.
    As someone who has watched the USA to Eastern Asia TPAC market for a couple of years now, It would be nice to have a non-stop or even a direct flight.

  3. mot29

    March 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I flew VN a few years ago — excellent business class fare LHR-Oz for about US$2100 RT. For about $100 more I was able to include a week long stopover in HAN. Very comfortable 787 for the trans-cons and one of the domestic flights. 321 for HAN-HCM.
    Good food and service.

  4. notquiteaff

    March 11, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    “However, the competition that will be created could end up making it difficult for Vietnam Airlines to actually make any money on routes between the United States and California.”

    Indeed. Especially until CA declares its independence and offers fifth freedom rights to Vietnamese carriers 😉

    “There is no doubt that budget carriers will begin to try to capitalize on routes linking the West Coast and Vietnam now that the barrier to entry has been removed. ”

    Why is there no doubt? Long distance carriers haven’t been very successful with long haul travel in most markets. What airline specifically do you expect to launch service?

  5. Fyd

    March 15, 2019 at 6:14 am

    The headline is missleading, Vietnam Airlines have NOT been cleared for flights to the US.
    So far, only the Vietnam Aviation Authority has been declared Category.1. Airlines like Vietnam Airlines or Bamboo still have to apply for routes, get approved, get airport slits, etc…

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