A Vietnamese airline is starting nonstop test flights to the US soon
Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Duc Huy Nguyen/Shutterstock
Bamboo Airways could become the first Vietnamese carrier to operate nonstop commercial service between Vietnam and the US after receiving approval from the US Transportation Security Administration.
Service between Hanoi and Da Nang in Vietnam to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle in the US will begin on September 23, according to local media reports.
The airline will run the routes using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in a three-class configuration.
Upstart Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways will launch nonstop service to the US in September, and may become the first airline ever to do so commercially. On Tuesday, Vietnamese media outlet VnExpress reported Bamboo has received clearance from the US Transportation Security Administration to operate 12 roundtrip test flights to the US from September to November. The demonstration flights will begin on September 23.
Bamboo did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on the new flights. The airline is the second Vietnamese carrier to receive such clearance, but Bamboo’s US service will start before Vietnam Airlines’ planned flights which are set to begin in October. VnExpress reported Bamboo’s routes will operate from Hanoi and Da Nang in Vietnam to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle in the US. According to its DOT application, the airline will use the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the few aircraft that can handle the long hop across the Pacific Ocean.
Coinciding with the launch, the airline has plans to sign memorandums with San Francisco and Los Angeles airports and is in the process of establishing a representative office in the US, according to VnExpress. In May 2021, Bamboo announced it acquired slots to fly direct from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco and Los Angeles beginning September 1, making it the first Vietnamese airline to secure nonstop airport slots in the US. Bamboo is a relatively new airline, starting its first flights in 2019.
Bamboo’s clearance from the TSA is a major step forward in receiving final approval from the FAA, which only established Vietnam as a Category 1 country in 2019. According to the FAA, the rating means the country meets international standards for operations and airworthiness and Vietnamese airlines can operate flights to the US.
Bamboo hopes to begin regularly scheduled service from Vietnam to the US by the end of 2021 or early 2022, according to VnExpress.
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