On the 24th of September, Bamboo Airways of Vietnam announced its MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to launch regular flights from Vietnam to the United States. The airlines originally planned for 4 flights per week with their Boeing 787-900 to SFO and will expand the routes from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) to SFO and other west coast airports shortly after.
Bamboo Airways will fly the Boeing-787 to San Francisco ©Airliners.net
Bamboo Airways had announced its plan to fly from Vietnam to the West Coast of the U.S. non-stop earlier this year. The airline has been carrying out repatriation flights in the past few months in order to win over the FAA’s trust for them to operate regularly for scheduled flights.
First Airlines to Fly Directly to the U.S.
“Jointly promoted by SFO and BAV, these are the first regular non-stop flights connecting Vietnam and the U.S. of BAV in particular and Vietnam aviation in general.” said Mr. Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways.
There are currently 5 airlines in Vietnam and 2 of which have the technical capabilities to fly directly from Vietnam to the west coast and they are Bamboo Airways and the flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. Both airlines operate the Boeing 787-9 that has a maximum range of 14000km and are capable of flying to various airports like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles directly.
Bamboo Airways is connecting the 2 largest cities of Vietnam to San Francisco ©gcmap.com
Back in February 2019, the flag carrier was approved by the Department of Transport in the U.S. to be issued a Cat 1 Rating under FAA’s International Aviation Safety Program (IASA) on behalf of Vietnam. This means the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has met the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s standard requirements in various aspects of flight operation and it also allows approved Vietnamese airlines to operate to the U.S. or code share with U.S. carriers. However, Vietnam airlines has only operated repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens as opposed to its plan to establishing regular flight schedules to the U.S. claiming that it is financially unviable.
Bamboo to Start Regular Services at the End of 2021