The“Vietnam – US Direct Route: Ready for Taking Off” seminar. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Bamboo Airways makes no secret of its ambition to become the first airline in Vietnam to operate direct flights to the United States, the airline’s Deputy Director General Truong Phuong Thanh said at a seminar on August 1.

“We have been very interested in launching Vietnam – US direct services from day one,” Thanh told the “Vietnam – US Direct Route: Ready for Taking Off” seminar held by FLC Group – the airline’s parent company – and the Vietnam Association on Aviation Science and Technology (VAAST) in Hanoi.

“Bamboo Airways will be the first in Vietnam to open Vietnam – US direct route,” he said, adding that he has full confidence that the new budget carrier can achieve this goal.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc highly spoke of the airline’s ambition, saying not only the US is Vietnam’s potential market but Vietnam is also a promising market the US wants to access.

According to Loc, demand for air freight transportation between the two countries is very large. Vietnam aims to become a global hub of new-generation FDI firms so many products must be transported by air, he explained.

Vietnam also has great potential for tourism; plus there are about 2 million Vietnamese expats living in the US, many of who fly home frequently to meet their families, the VCCI leader said.

Additionally, the US is home to many world-class universities and the number of Vietnamese students in the country has increased consistently over years, he added.

The global air transport market is thriving with the Asia-Pacific region regarded by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) as the world’s fastest-growing market, expanding 6 – 7 percent annually, said VAAST President Tran Quang Chau.

Vietnam’s air transport growth even doubled that number, growing over 16 percent annually over the last decade, he noted.

In February, Vietnam received a Category 1 aviation safety rating from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

With the CAT 1 status, Vietnamese carriers will be able to establish direct services to the US and carry the code of US carriers upon completion of the necessary remaining steps, including Vietnamese airports earning approval to comply with ICAO security standards and recommended practices from the US Transportation Security Administration, and Vietnamese airlines earning economic authority from the US Department of Transportation.

Statistics by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam show that the number of passengers flying between Vietnam and the US grew 8 percent annually in average from 2010 – 2017 with more than 700,000 passengers in 2017.

Last year, about 107,000 Vietnamese people travelled to the US.–VNA

VNA