The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced a new plan to open direct flights to the U.S in 2010 if conditions are right, three years later than its earlier plan which was delayed for three years.
Vietnam Airlines confirmed that it would open direct flights to the U.S once the carrier is again economical strong enough.
At the moment, the airlines is preparing the market and planes to reach the goal of direct flights to the US by 2010.
According to the Vietnam Aviation Department, the US is a difficult market, and that aviation authorities in the country impose many conditions on airlines wanting to open direct flights to the country.
Besides making the airlines follow the US’ tight security and safety regulations, US aviation authorities also require airlines to supply a passenger list with personal information on all passengers on-board the planes four hours before take-off. This is an unprecedented condition, not require by most other countries. However, the US remains the number one aviation market, so most airlines in the world want enter it. That is why Vietnam Airlines is trying to open direct flights to the country, even in this time of worldwide economic crisis.
Like other airlines around the world, Vietnam Airlines’ number of passengers and cargo flights are decreasing.
In the first quarter of 2009, the number of international passengers traveling with the airline fell 5%, and the airline has set a target to carry only around 9.4 million passengers in this challenging year of 2009.
Last year, Vietnam Airlines carried nine million passengers.