HANOI, May 10 (Bernama): Bamboo Airways is finalising preparations to operate regular direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and Los Angeles of the US, starting Sept 1,2021.
Besides asking for permits, the carrier is training pilots and crew members, while finalising the preparation of other necessary conditions for the operation of the route, according to Vietnam News Agency.
Bamboo Airways had received a permit from the US Department of Transportation to carry passengers and cargo to the country last year.
Vietnam's Ministry of Transport is also finalising procedures to designate Bamboo Airways to operate charter flights between Vietnam and the US following a proposal made by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam at the end of April.
It will allow the private airline to carry passengers and goods from Vietnam to the US and vice versa on charter flights upon approval by the Prime Minister and relevant agencies.
Passengers on these flights could be experts, foreign investors and Vietnamese citizens in the US wishing to return home.
Bamboo Airways Chairman Trinh Van Quyet said the airline expects to operate charter flights to the US from July.
At the San Francisco International Airport, the daily flights are expected to land at 10:00 and depart at 13:00 (local time); and the landing and takeoff times for its flights at the Los Angeles International Airport are 9:30 and 12:30 (local time), respectively.
The flights would be operated using long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
There are currently no non-stop routes between the two countries, and passengers have to transit in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea or Taiwan, taking about 20 hours in all. A direct flight would shorten the travel time to 15-17 hours.
Americans are among the top foreign visitors to Vietnam, with 687,226 arrivals in 2019, and an ethnic Vietnamese population of over 2.1 million in the US is also expected to be a steady source of travel demand.
Meanwhile, the carrier is also working to complete procedures to launch new international direct routes to the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, UK, Germany, Tokyo, Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), Singapore, Thailand, and China. - Bernama