Vietnam airlines applies for direct flight permit to US
Flights to US, Vietnam Airlines has filed a request to the US Department of Transportation for a foreign air carrier permit.
The permit would allow the airline to run a direct service between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles via Osaka, Japan.
The move would be a significant step in Vietnam-US relations, the US Embassy said in a press release.
"With Vietnam's recent accession to the World Trade Organisation, direct air service between the United States and Vietnam offers opportunities for increased bilateral trade and tourism, thereby enhancing Vietnam's participation in the global economy," it said.
To meet the requirements of the permit, the US Trade and Development Agency is providing US$1.4mil for a three-phase project to upgrade Vietnam's safety oversight capability to international standards. The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has now completed the first phase of this project.
The US Transportation Security Administration must also check that foreign airports used by foreign air carriers for direct service to the US meet minimum international standards for aviation security.
An official of Vietnam Airlines said the carrier hoped to launch the direct flight later this year, but the exact time will be subject to approval of the US Department of Transportation.
To prepare for the direct flight as well as expand its fleet, Vietnam Airlines has recently inked contracts to buy 10A350-900XWB aeroplanes; 10 A321s; and four Boeing B787-8 Dreamliners.
Under the International Aviation Safety Oversight Assessment Programme, the US Federal Aviation Administration assesses all foreign civil aviation authorities whose air carriers serve the US in order to ascertain compliance with internationally agreed minimum standards for air safety oversight established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the American Embassy said.
(Source: Viet Nam News)