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Vietnamese air carriers eye opportunities of direct flight to the US

The Ministry of Transport held a roundtable to discuss the possibility of direct flights to the US, and the opportunities and challenges facing the Vietnamese aviation sector.



Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan addressing the roundtable



The event, which attracted Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan, heads of Vietnamese airlines, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV), as well as international experts, aimed to seek solutions to help the local aviation industry develop sustainably in healthy competition towards ensuring the highest safety and convenience to passengers.

Specifically, the participants focused discussions on issues related to the hot growth of the sector, the management of human resources, and curbing brain drain, as well as ways to promote healthy development and competition.

Especially, the roundtable saw the attendance of Prof. Nawal Taneja from Fisher College of Business, Ohio University. With 50 years of experience, Taneja has worked as an advisor for many powerful airlines and aviation businesses.

They also discussed the opportunities and possibilities for Vietnamese air carriers to launch direct flights to the US, with legal barriers, techniques, technology, aviation safety, and economic issues on the agenda.

In related developments, the US Department of Transportation has just issued the permission for the transportation of persons and packages from Vietnam to the United States to Vietnam Airlines (VNA).

VNA is the first Vietnamese carrier to get this permission, which is one of the necessary conditions for a foreign air carrier to fly to the US.

This is the latest step of VNA in establishing a direct flight to the US after the country was granted the Category 1 status by the US Federal Aviation Administration in February, which means its civil aviation authority meets the International Civil Aviation Organization’s standards (ICAO).

In 2018, the number of passengers on Vietnam-US flights reached 757,000, up 8 per cent on-year. At present, there are no direct flights between Vietnam and the US.

According to Anh Tuan, in 2014-2018, the Vietnamese aviation market witnessed high growth with an average of 20.5 per cent annual growth in passengers and 13.2 per cent in cargo. Yet another double-digit growth is projected for 2019, specifically, an 11.8 per cent rise in passengers, and 3 per cent in cargo, reaching 78.3 million passengers and over 1.25 million tonnes of cargo.

“Despite the improvements and achievements, there remain a lot of complicated issues facing state agencies and businesses in the sector,” said Tuan. “We are working to facilitate the sector’s sustainable development, healthy competition, and to provide the highest safety and top convenience for people.”

In 2020, the market is forecast to welcome 86.8 million passengers, up 10.8 per cent on-year, and nearly 1.4 million tonnes of cargo, up 11 per cent. VIR

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