Vietnam is one of the most memorable, and simply outstanding destinations you can ever visit. Humbling, beautiful, simple and delicious – it’s a place with no equal. Getting there however is a bit of a head scratcher, particularly from the USA. Quite a lot of red tape and certification is required to transport airline passengers in the United States, and even more so for foreign airlines, but Vietnam Airlines has taken a significant step in launching flights.

For anyone who’s been dreaming of visiting Vietnam, without the hassle of connecting elsewhere in Asia – as if the journey isn’t long enough as is – there’s good news on the horizon. Vietnam Airlines, a SkyTeam airline (and Delta partner) has received its US air carrier permit, which is a major milestone in the ambition of bringing direct flights between the two countries, using the airlines modern new fleet.

Vietnam Airlines operates one of the younger and more modern fleets in the sky, with a steady mix of Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. With clear ambitions to launch direct flights between US gateways and Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi, the airline has now received a United States Air Carrier Permit, which would allow the airline to operate flights between the US and Vietnam, and also flights via intermediary cities such as Taipei or Nagoya.

With newer aircraft such as the 787’s and A350’s Vietnam Airlines already flies, direct routes to either Vietnamese gateway would be viable from both coasts of the United State, even as far as New York City. Singapore Airlines currently operates the world’s longest flight between Newark and Singapore.

So what’s still standing in the way of official route announcements? With a new and approved US air carrier permit, one of the most significant steps is in the rear view, but the airline must still liaise with TSA and US Customs and Immigration (CBP) officials, and also receive final FAA and NTSB approval.

Vietnam Airlines and US based Delta Airlines have already created one stop codeshare routes between Vietnam and the United states via Frankfurt and Tokyo, which kick in this coming October, but this is seriously exciting news for one of the most buzzing tourism destinations in Asia and anyone in the United States hoping to visit. With any hope, the rest of the US certification pieces will fall into place soon, and direct flights will become a reality.

You’ve just really gotta see Vietnam first hand…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. Please use the correct term and call it a “non stop” flight instead of a “direct” flight. It annoys me every time I hear clueless people call a flight direct when they mean non stop and I’ve let more than a few know the difference. As an airline blog I would assume you, of all people, know the difference and would use the right term.

    Just in case you don’t know (and for the benefit of any readers that don’t) a non stop flight is exactly what it means – a flight that starts in one location and goes to another without any stops. A direct flight, on the other hand, is a flight that goes from one location to another but can have one or more stops along the way but keeps the same flight number (although not necessarily the same equipment). There may well already be “direct” flights to Vietnam from the US is any of the Asian carriers happen to keep the same flight number through their connecting hub.

    I agree a non stop would be great but please don’t continue use of the wrong word for this flight in your blog.

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