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Vietnam’s airlines making hectic preparations to fly to US

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Soon after the US officially granted non-stop flight permission to Vietnam, domestic airlines set to work to prepare to fly to the US.

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Airlines are making preparations to fly to the US


The national flag air carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to a flight that connects HCM City and Los Angeles or San Francisco in 2020.

Providing non-stop flights to the US is also part of the development strategies of Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways. To be able to fly to the US, air carriers must use extra wide body (EWB) aircraft models such as the Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A350. 

Vietjet Air is awaiting wide-body B787 deliveries to begin flying to the US market. Meanwhile, Bamboo Airways, the newly established air carrier, has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with SIA Engineering (SIAEC) to fly in 2020 to the US.

Currently, in order to fly to the US, passengers from Vietnam have to transit in China, Hong Kong, South Korea or Japan.

With nonstop flights, the time needed to fly from Vietnam to the US is expected to be 18 hours.

In order to have nonstop flights, air carriers will have to use wide-body aircraft. But Vietnam Airlines is the only carrier which owns wide-body aircraft such as Boeing 787 to fly to the US. 

A senior executive of Vietnam Airlines said both the wide-body aircraft models, however, need one technical stop to get petrol. He said the air carrier is negotiating with manufacturers to fix the problem. Meanwhile, new aircraft would be provided no sooner than 2022.

The senior executive also said that  Vietnam’s air carriers would have to compete with leading non-stop flight providers such as EVA Air of Taiwan (22 percent of market share in 2016, according to CAPA), Korean Air (17 percent) and Cathay Pacific (11 percent). 

Analysts note that Vietnam Airlines can take full advantage of the alliance with ANA Airlines, which is its strategic shareholder, to increase the number of nonstop flights to the US.

According to CAPA, ANA is providing  flights to nine destinations in the US, including cities with large Vietnamese communities.

CAPA believes that Vietnam Airlines is capable of providing flights to one or two cities in the US, and will take full advantage of ANA to develop other destinations.

However, Vietnam Airlines has said that if it provided non-stop flights to the US, the carrier would incur losses of up to $30 million in the first five to 10 years.


Source: VietNamNet

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