Direct Vietnam-US flights have carried over 60,000 passengers in one year

Exactly one year ago, on November 28, 2021, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines’ first direct flight to US departed Ho Chi Minh City for San Francisco on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Crew members pose for a photo before the flight marking one year of direct Vietnam-US service.
Crew members pose for a photo before the flight marking one year of direct Vietnam-US service.

The flight marked the success of not only Vietnam Airlines but also Vietnam’s aviation industry after 20 years of hard work to meet the stringent standards necessary to launch a direct route between Vietnam and the US.

After one year of direct Vietnam-US service, Vietnam Airlines has recorded positive results with over 60,000 passengers and an average seat occupancy of 72%. Hundreds of tonnes of goods, including those of Vietnam’s strengths such as agricultural produce and garments, have also been transported on Vietnam Airlines’ flights to the US.

Such achievements come from the great potential of the US market, the strong development in economic, cultural and social ties between the two countries, as well as Vietnam Airlines’ advantages in non-stop flights, with a fleet of wide-body aircraft and codeshare with US domestic carriers.

Specifically, with the permit to operate an extended flight range of 207 minutes for Boeing 787 and 240 minutes for Airbus A350, Vietnam Airlines can operate its route flexibly, shorten the flight time, reduce fuel consumption, cut costs and enhance competitiveness on the route, which already has many foreign carriers as rivals.

The Vietnam-US direct service acts as an important aviation bridge, helping to promote investment, trade and tourism between the two countries, facilitate overseas Vietnamese in connecting with the homeland, and affirm the operating capacity, service quality and position of Vietnam’s national flag carrier and aviation industry in the world.

In celebrating one year since the launch of the direct service to the US, on November 26, Vietnam Airlines operated a special flight with interesting surprises for passengers.

Passengers on flight VN98 from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco on November 26 were warmly greeted with gift notebooks featuring images of the US as well as free air tickets. Vietnam Airlines also worked with US agricultural goods associations to serve US beef noodle and Vietnamese-style burgers to passengers.

These dishes were creatively designed with a harmony of ingredients and tastes from both countries, along with high-quality products of American agriculture such as Washington apples, Pauly cream cheese, almond milk, soy milk, energy bars, and dried fruits and nuts such as blueberry, almond and pistachio. In addition to the November 26 flight, these “fine US tastes” continued to be served on flights on November 27 and 30 and December 1 and 3.

Commenting on the significance of the US direct flight, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa said the flight route between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco has offered an opportunity to promote tourism and trade, contributing to economic growth of the city and the country.

She added that the route is the bridge to enhance understanding and exchange between cultures, promote the culture and tourism of Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam to the US, thereby further strengthening the solidarity and friendship between the two countries, helping to enhance the position of Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam in the region and the world.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper affirmed that one of his top goals is to promote the human connection between the two countries and that Vietnam Airlines’ direct Vietnam-US flights have greatly facilitated this effort. He also highly appreciates the carrier’s ability to meet US aviation safety standards.

The diplomat expressed his expectations that Vietnam Airlines will expand its network to other US cities to make it easier for people of the two countries to travel, do business, invest, and pursue academic opportunities.

Currently Vietnam Airlines is operating the direct Vietnam-US route with a stable frequency of 3-4 flights per week, using new-generation wide-body aircraft. The frequency of flights to the US will be increased during the Christmas and New Year holidays. The carrier is working to expand its passenger and cargo routes to the US in the coming years.