Bamboo Airways eyes direct US flight

Friday, Aug 02, 2019 16:14

Experts discuss the potential of opening a Viet Nam-US direct flight. — VNS Photo

The Viet Nam-US direct flight would not sustain losses if it has reasonable fares and a stable number of passengers, said Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of FLC Group and general director of Bamboo Airways.

Quyet told a seminar on ‘Viet Nam-US direct flight: ready for take-off’ held in Ha Noi on Thursday that Bamboo Airways was determined to be pioneer to open the Viet Nam-US direct route.

He affirmed that the airline has impressive results as it had the highest on-time performance and safest flights among airlines in the country since it first flight in January. It also has the highest occupancy rate of 90 per cent.

“Viet Nam has a population of nearly 100 million while the number of overseas Vietnamese in the US is also big. This is the reason that it has potential to open a flight route to the US,” he added.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc highly appreciated the airline’s ambition, saying not only the US is Viet Nam’s potential market but Viet Nam is also a promising market the US wants to access.

According to Loc, demand for air freight transportation between the two countries is very high. Viet Nam aims to become a global hub of new-generation FDI firms so many products must be transported by air, he explained.

“Viet Nam also has great potential for tourism. There are about two million Vietnamese expats living in the US, many of whom fly home frequently to see their families,” the VCCI leader said.

Additionally, the US is home to many world-class universities and the number of Vietnamese students in the country has increased consistently, he added.

The global air transport market is thriving with the Asia-Pacific region regarded by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) as the world’s fastest-growing market, expanding 6-7 per cent annually, said the Viet Nam Association on Aviation Science and Technology President Tran Quang Chau.

Viet Nam’s air transport growth even doubled that number, growing over 16 per cent annually over the last decade, he noted.

In February, Viet Nam received a Category 1 aviation safety rating from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

With the CAT 1 status, Vietnamese carriers will be able to establish direct services to the US and carry the code of US carriers upon completion of the necessary remaining steps, including Vietnamese airports earning approval to comply with ICAO security standards and recommended practices from the US Transportation Security Administration, and Vietnamese airlines earning economic authority from the US Department of Transportation.

Statistics by the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam show that the number of passengers flying between Viet Nam and the US grew 8 per cent annually on average from 2010 – 2017 with more than 700,000 passengers in 2017.

Last year, about 107,000 Vietnamese people travelled to the US. — VNS

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