14:38 (GMT +7) - Thursday 22/08/2019

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CAAV asks Bamboo Airways to fly direct to US

Released at: 16:58, 02/08/2019

CAAV asks Bamboo Airways to fly direct to US

Photo: Bamboo Airways

Direct flights perfectly viable, head of carrier's parent company says.

by Ngoc Lan

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has asked Bamboo Airways to open direct flights to the US in the coming time, affirming its initial orientation of becoming a five-star airline providing both domestic and international air services, Mr. Vo Huy Cuong, Deputy Director of the CAAV, said at the “Vietnam - US Direct Flights: Ready for Taking Off” seminar held by the Vietnam Association on Aviation Science and Technology in cooperation with Bamboo Airways on August 1.

Mr. Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of the FLC Group, which owns Bamboo Airways, also expressed a wish to open direct flights to the US. Vietnam’s population is close to 100 million, he said, while Singapore - a rare Asian country with direct flights to the US - has only 5.8 million people. “Singapore Airlines has to search for customers all over the world, including Vietnam, while the number of Vietnamese in a US state like California is half that of Singapore,” he added. “There is no reason to say that Vietnamese - US direct flights don’t have potential and may lack passengers.”

Vietnamese airlines are stepping up to exploit the international aviation market, in which the US is one of the leading markets, as identified in the “Direct flights between Vietnam and other countries together with key areas to encourage development investment promoting exchanges and international integration” project approved by the Prime Minister in Decision No. 2119/QD-TTg on December 28, 2017.

The US was also identified as a key tourism market in the “Strengthening aviation connectivity with source markets” project, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung in Decision No. 105/QD-TTg on January 22, 2019.

Market capacity between Vietnam and the US in 2017 rose to over 700,000 passengers with annual average growth in the 2010-2017 period of more than 8 per cent. According to the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, in 2018, the number of Vietnamese traveling to the country grew by an impressive 107,000 passengers.

Vietnam was officially granted Category 1 rating certification (CAT 1) by the US Federal Aviation Administration last February, which paves the way for Vietnamese airlines flying to the US and facilitates joint cooperation between airlines and the peoples of the two countries.

The time for Vietnamese carriers to open direct flights to the US has clearly now arrived but exploiting the route also poses significant challenges in terms of legal, economic, technical, and commercial issues.

According to Mr. Cuong, the opening of direct flights to the US would make Vietnam’s aviation sector affirm its international brand name, raise its competitive position in the market, contribute greatly to political and diplomatic missions, and strengthen Vietnam’s links and economic integration with world powers and other countries around the globe.

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