Last update: 16:19 | 11/10/2017
Vietnam Airlines (VNA) will launch long-awaited direct air service between Vietnam and the United States in late 2019, said VNA general director Duong Tri Thanh.
VNA has bought new aircraft to prepare for the launch of Vietnam-U.S. direct air service
Speaking to the Daily, Thanh said those carriers wanting to operate direct flights to the U.S. would have to meet this country’s aviation standards.
“Vietnam Airlines has made necessary preparations such as aircraft and pilots to open the new route. However, the U.S.’s assessment of management quality would take a long time,” Thanh said.
According to him, a U.S. delegation will come to Vietnam to assess the quality of VNA’s management this month, and necessary procedures will be done in early 2018. After that, VNA will take the final steps to open the Vietnam-U.S. direct route in late 2019.
The route will not be profitable in the first several years due to strong competition, Thanh noted, but VNA will make effort to minimize losses.
The airline’s plan for launching direct service between Vietnam and the U.S. in July 2008 was cancelled due to insufficient preparations. In late 2012, Vietnam and the U.S. signed an agreement on amendments to the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Air Transport Agreement, which assists the carrier in opening the route.
In a related development, Vietnam Airlines has put into operation the flight deck simulator for A320 and A321 aircraft to train its pilots in Vietnam, helping the national flag carrier save time and money.
The airline has plans to operate flight deck simulators for Boeing 787s late this year and for Airbus 350s in mid-2018.