Update: 10:37 | 09/05/2021
Bamboo Airways has been officially granted slots (landing and take-off times) to operate regular direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and Los Angeles starting September 1.
The flights will be operated using the long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Accordingly, from September 1, at San Francisco International Airport, the daily flights are expected to land at 10 am (US time) and depart at 1 pm; with landing and take-off times at the Los Angeles International Airport flights at 9.30 am. and 12.30 pm., respectively.
These are the two busiest airports in he state of California, respectively ranked first and second with average passenger volumes of about 70 million per year and 40 million per year, respectively.
Vietnam's Ministry of Transport is also finalizing procedures to designate Bamboo Airways as a charter flight operator between Vietnam and the US following a proposal made by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam at the end of April.
It will allow the private airline to carry passengers and goods from Vietnam to the US and vice versa on charter flights upon approval from the prime minister and the relevant agencies.
In parallel with the licensing procedures, Bamboo Airways has prepared facilities and equipment to meet all operating standards. The carrier has been training pilots and improving its fleet. Employees are trained on all requirements and regulations related to safety and security, legal conditions, federal and state laws and market situations to prepare for direct flights.
There are currently no non-stop routes between the two countries, and passengers have to transit through Hong Kong (China), the Republic of Korea (ROK) or Taiwan (China), taking around 20 hours in all. A direct flight would shorten the travel time to 15-16 hours.
Aviation experts evaluate the market potential between the two countries at over 800,000 passengers per year, while only 30,000 passengers per year are needed to open the flight route.
Bamboo Airways also plans to operate direct flights to the ROK, Taiwan (China) and Japan from the second quarter of this year, if approved by the government.