Bamboo Airways and SFO sign agreement to promote nonstop Vietnam-US flights

By May Pham   September 28, 2021 | 10:30 am GMT+7
Bamboo Airways has signed an MoU with San Francisco International Airport (SFO), aiming to bridge the gap between the two aviation markets and countries through nonstop commercial flights.

Fortifying the primary U.S. gateway

On Sept. 24 (local time), a welcome ceremony for Bamboo Airways's first nonstop flight connecting Vietnam and the United States was held at San Francisco International Airport, California, U.S.

Within the framework of the event, Bamboo Airways and SFO signed a Memorandum of Understanding. On the basis of the MoU, Bamboo Airways and SFO would deploy regular nonstop flights from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to SFO subject to U.S. government approval.

Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways speaking in the event

Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways, speaks at the event. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways said: "Active cooperation between BAV and SFO in promoting regular nonstop flights between Vietnam and the United States marks a turning point in the airline's history, proving a successful partnership between both sides. We expect this movement would bring direct benefits to both aviation markets, making a substantial contribution to the development of bilateral and multilateral trade, tourism, and economics, especially in the post-epidemic period."

"We are truly proud to be the first airport in the United States to offer nonstop flights to Vietnam," said SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. "This decision reinforces SFO as the premier U.S. gateway of choice, offering a world-class airport experience with seamless access throughout San Francisco Bay Area. We thank BAV for choosing San Francisco for their U.S. expansion, and we are committed to making this new service a success for both BAV and the customers they serve."

Ivar C. Satero, Airport Director of the SFO speaks at the Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding with Bamboo Airways.

Ivar C. Satero, airport director of SFO, speaks at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding with Bamboo Airways. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Comprehensive cooperation

Bamboo Airways' wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight QH9149 landed at San Francisco International Airport on the evening of Sept. 23. The flight took approximately 13 hours and 30 minutes, significantly shorter compared to current connecting flights between Vietnam and the U.S. The Quy Nhon Town aircraft has surpassed seven countries and territories, covering one of the longest routes in the world at nearly 12,500 kilometers.

Flight QH9149 is among a series of special authorization flights between Vietnam and the U.S. operated by Bamboo Airways starting from September 2021.

Memorandum of Understanding aims to bridge the gap between two aviation markets as well as two countries through nonstop commercial flights

The memorandum of Understanding aims to bridge the gap between two aviation markets as well as two countries through nonstop commercial flights. Photo by Bamboo Airways

This is also the first flight Bamboo Airways and International Air Transport Association (IATA) cooperated on to successfully pilot IATA Travel Pass. The operation requires close and thorough coordination between Bamboo Airways, Vietnamese, and U.S. authorities.

After landing at San Francisco International Airport, the aircraft waited about 18 hours before returning to Hanoi. The return flight would carry seven tons of medical equipment and supplies from the California Waste Solutions Inc, contributing to pandemic prevention and control in Vietnam.

This first special authorization flight is a history in the making for Bamboo Airways, laying a solid foundation for the planned commencement of non-stop commercial flights connecting Vietnam to the U.S.

The regular nonstop flight between Vietnam and the U.S. is expected to not only be a milestone in the aviation history of both countries but also directly foster travel connection between two hemispheres for the first time in nearly 20 years, after the Vietnam-U.S. Air Transport Agreement was officially signed in 2003.

This will also once again affirm the operation capacity and facilities of Vietnamese carriers when maintaining to fulfill the highest aviation standards in the world and fortify the Vietnamese aviation market in the post-pandemic period.

The regular nonstop flight between Vietnam and the US is expected to bridge the gap between two hemispheres for the first time.

The regular nonstop flight between Vietnam and the U.S. is expected to bridge the gap between two hemispheres for the first time. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Promoting operations in the U.S.

Experts perceive the U.S.-Vietnam aviation market carries considerable potential, with more than 800,000 passengers traveling per year, while only about 30,000 passengers per year is sufficient for route development.

Nonstop commercial routes connecting Vietnam and the U.S. would help reduce flight time to 13-14 hours, compared to current connecting flights of more than 18 hours to the West Coast and more than 21 hours to the East.

The successful operation of Bamboo Airways's first special authorization flight on Sept. 23 paves the way for a series of activities in the U.S., including the announcement of General Agent in the U.S. market; signing agreement with GE to purchase GEnx engines for Boeing 787-9 aircraft worth nearly $2 billion witnessed by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, signing agreement with CFM International on the selection of LEAP-1A engines and maintenance services for 50 of A320/A321neo aircraft ordered from Airbus, and signing agreement to become the first official Vietnamese airline commercial partner of Los Angeles City.

 
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