Hanoi, Vietnam - Vietnam's new airline Bamboo Airways is planning to launch first direct flights next year between the US and Vietnam, British newspaper Financial Times reports.
Vietnam's new carrier Bamboo Airways showed up with an ambitious plan to increase its visibility on the fast-growing Asian aviation market.
The airline already applied to the US aviation authorities for permission and is preparing to lease an Airbus A380 to materialize this goal.
We will start in the first quarter of 2020 if we get permission by the end of this year, said the airline chairman and chief executive Trinh Van Quyet.
This year in February, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed “Category 1” for Vietnam allowing the country's airlines to conduct direct flights to the United States and share their codes with the US carriers.
However, FAA's "Category 1" is only granted for the country. The airlines operating in Vietnam must also prove individually that they meet the safety standards of the FAA and the and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Travelers generally fly to the US via Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo or another Asian city. Most of the passengers are businessmen and people who want to visit their relatives there.
Another Vietnamese carrier Vietnam Airlines is also preparing to launch flights to the west coast of the United States soon. The rival VietJet Air is signaling for a similar move. If launched, Bamboo Airways to be a serious competitor with its leased superjumbo on these routes.
Quyet said that Bamboo Airways was evaluating to fly to either Los Angeles or San Francisco from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
Bamboo Airways began its operations this year in January. It made its inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on January 16.
The Vietnamese startup operates one Airbus A319, five A320-200, and four A321neo. The airline also has 46 A321neo and 30 Boeing 787-9 on order waiting to be delivered.