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

September 25, 2021 | 15:40
On the basis of the new MoU, Bamboo Airways and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) will consolidate and promote the built-in conditions to deploy nonstop flights connecting Vietnam and the US.

On September 24, the Welcoming Ceremony of Bamboo Airways' First Nonstop Flight Connecting Vietnam and the United States was held at San Francisco International Airport (California, US). The event was attended by Hoang Huu Anh, Deputy Consul General of Vietnam in San Francisco; George G.Saxton, executive director of the SF Mayor’s Office of International Trade & Commerce, Ho Chi Minh City Sister City Committee; Ivar C. Satero, airport director of the San Francisco International Airport; Mark Chandler, board member of Northern California Sister Cities International; Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways; and representatives of international partners such as Boeing and GlobalSF.

Fortifying US' primary gateway

Bamboo Airways' flight QH9149 operated by the wide-body Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landed at San Francisco International Airport on the evening of September 23.

The flight took approximately 13 hours and 30 minutes, significantly shorter compared to current connecting flights. The "Quy Nhon City" aircraft has travelled over seven countries and territories, covering one of the longest routes in the world with nearly 12,500km.

Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways said: “The active cooperation between Bamboo Airways and SFO in promoting the first regular nonstop flights between Vietnam and the US marks a turning point in the airline's history, proving a successful partnership between the two sides. We expect this movement will bring direct benefits to the aviation markets of the two countries, making a substantial contribution to the development of bilateral and multilateral trade, tourism, and economy, especially in the post-epidemic period."

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

Within the framework of the event, Bamboo Airways and SFO signed an MoU to narrow the gap between the two aviation markets as well as the two countries. On this basis, Bamboo Airways and SFO will consolidate and promote the built-in conditions to deploy regular nonstop flights from Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to SFO subject to US government approvals.

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 the SFO speaking at the Signing Ceremony of the MoU with Bamboo Airways

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

Comprehensive cooperation

Flight QH9149 is among a series of special authorisation flights between Vietnam and the US operated by Bamboo Airways starting from September 2021, drawing the attention of countless passengers, observers, and authorities.

The operation requires close and thorough coordination between Bamboo Airways, Vietnamese authorities, and US authorities. As a result, there is a massive pressure and requirement in terms of workload and benchmark applied in every step of the process.

Bamboo Airways and SFO sign agreement to promote nonstop Vietnam-US flights
The MoU aims to bridge the gap between the two aviation markets as well as the two countries through nonstop commercial flights

This is also the first flight that Bamboo Airways and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cooperated to successfully pilot the IATA Travel Pass.

After landing at San Francisco International Airport, the aircraft will stay for about 18 hours before returning to Hanoi. The return flight will carry seven tonnes of medical equipment and supplies from the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco, contributing to the pandemic prevention and control in Vietnam.

The return flight from San Francisco to Hanoi will carry 7 tons of medical equipment and supplies from the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco for free.
The return flight from San Francisco to Hanoi will carry seven tonnes of medical equipment and supplies from the Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco for free

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

A regular nonstop route between Vietnam and the US operated by a Vietnamese airline will be of great brand value.
A regular nonstop route between Vietnam and the US operated by a Vietnamese airline will be of great brand value

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

Bamboo Airways and SFO sign agreement to promote nonstop Vietnam-US flights
The hospitable cabin crew of Bamboo Airway

A regular nonstop route between Vietnam and the US operated by a Vietnamese airline will be of great brand value. This will once again affirm the operation capacity and facilities of Vietnamese carriers when maintaining to fulfil the highest aviation standards in the world and fortify the Vietnamese aviation market in the post-pandemic period.

Promoting US operations

Experts perceive that the US-Vietnam aviation market is of considerable potential, with more than 800,000 passengers travelling per year, while only about 30,000 passengers per year are sufficient for route development.

Bamboo Airways and SFO sign agreement to promote nonstop Vietnam-US flights
The entire Bamboo Airways' cabin crew has a breadth of experience in training and operating directly in the US market

Nonstop commercial routes connecting Vietnam and the US will be reduced to 13-14 hours of flight time, compared to current connecting flights of more than 18 hours to the West Coast and more than 21 hours to the East Coast.

Bamboo Airways and SFO sign agreement to promote nonstop Vietnam-US flights
The regular nonstop flight between Vietnam and the US is expected to bridge the gap between two hemispheres for the first time

The successful operation of Bamboo Airways' first special authorisation flight on September 23 paves the way for a series of activities in the US, including the annoucement of a general agent in the US market; signing an agreement with GE to purchase GEnx engines for Boeing 787-9 aircraft worth nearly $2 billion under the witness of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc; Signing an agreement with CFM International on the selection of LEAP-1A engines and maintenance services for 50 of A320/A321neo aircraft ordered from Airbus; Signing agreement to become the first official Vietnamese airline commercial partner of Los Angeles City...

By Thien Huong

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