On May 7, Bamboo Airways announced that it had just been granted a slot (hourly takeoff and landing) to fly to Los Angeles and San Francisco airports starting from September 1. The airline aims to launch charter flights to the US from July and commercial non-stop flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco from September to 2021
Bamboo Airways aims to launch charter flights to the US from July and commercial non-stop flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco from September to 2021
However, to fly directly to the US, airlines need to meet many conditions. An aviation expert said the license was granted by the US Department of Transport and that the slot at US airports was just the beginning. Firms still have to pursue licensing at many US authorities including the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA), licensing operations; US Air Transport Security Authority (TSA); procedures other than the US Inland Income Administration, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency; US National Traffic Safety Commission (NTBS); informing the flight schedule, emergency response plan, application for the operating license to the relevant agencies … before officially operating regular commercial flights to the US.
One of the biggest challenges ahead is being licensed by the US Air Transport Security Agency (TSA), because the procedure at this stage is particularly strict. Specifically, TSA must visit airports in our country to ensure that the Vietnamese side meets their security standards before considering the next steps. Meanwhile, the TSA’s license is the basis for the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to license. Currently, there is no Vietnamese airline licensed by TSA and FAA.
Previously, Vietnam Airlines had flight slots at US airports since 2019. In early September 2020, Vietnam Airlines was the first Vietnamese airline to be licensed by the US Department of Transport to fly commercially to the US. Currently, the company has moved to the next steps including sending an application for permission to the US Air Transport Security Agency (TSA) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Most recently, in April 2021, Vietnam Airlines was approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam to grant airbus A350 operating certificates on the route to the US (previously, only Boeing 787 could be operated). Vietnam Airlines is currently the airline that has made the most progress in meeting the conditions of direct flights to the US.
Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways both aim to become the first Vietnamese airline to fly directly to the US on a regular basis.
An aviation expert acknowledged that exploiting the Vietnam-US direct flight is not easy because according to a previous calculation, it would take 5-10 years for the airlines to break even this route. It is estimated that the loss in the first years of mining is at least 30-50 million USD per year. Meanwhile, Bamboo Airways Chairman Trinh Van Quyet once affirmed that with his calculations flying straight to the US could be profitable immediately, this completely depends on the fare.
However, according to experts, the aviation business in the current period is still very dependent on the situation of Covid-19 epidemic in the world, the demand for travel is limited, the airline is facing difficulties and financial losses, so experts say it is very unlikely that Vietnamese airlines will take off commercial direct flights to the US in 2021.
Currently, passengers from Vietnam to the US usually have to fly forward in Hong Kong, Taiwan (China) or South Korea …, with a flight time of about 20 hours, including transit. If there is a direct flight, flight time will be shortened to about 15-16 hours.
However, if flying directly to the US is required to reduce the load (carrying fewer passengers and goods than the design configuration) will not be guaranteed in terms of revenue, also choose the option of having 1 stop that insizes additional take-off/landing costs and increases flight time, thus reducing the competitiveness of the service.
According to representatives of Vietnam Airlines, the current flight route to the US faces great competition with round-trip airlines (there are about 20 airlines exploiting routes between Vietnam and the US, thus putting pressure on competition of selling price).
Therefore, since the 2010s, Vietnam Airlines has cooperated with Delta Airlines to fly to the US to connect (codeshare), there are products for routes … to probe the U.S.-Vietnam market, and to create a habit for passengers to fly to the U.S. on Vietnam Airlines flights and toward the goal of 2022 the airline will fly commercially to the US.
Source: nld.com.vn – Translated by fintel.vn