Vietnam, November 29, 2021/ --- Vietnam Airlines, the fastest-growing carrier in Southeast Asia, today announced the success of the first direct flight to the United States, fulfilling a key development milestone of the Vietnamese flag carrier.

The inaugural flight, No.VN98, from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco, carried passengers on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the most advanced-technology airplanes of the Vietnam Airlines fleet.

This historic flight signifies an important development of Vietnam’s aviation and Vietnam Airlines  as the country’s first airline to conduct regular commercial direct flights to the U.S.

It also recognizes the 20-year-effort of Vietnam Airlines since the establishment of its representative office in San Francisco to lay the foundation for the direct route between the two countries.

“Vietnam Airlines was so proud of being the country’s first airline to conduct the charter flight to the U.S. more than a year ago to welcome compatriots back to the homeland. Today, we are very pleased to announce the success of the inaugural commercial direct flight to the U.S., marking a new milestone for Vietnam Airlines in particular and Vietnam’s aviation in general,” said President & CEO of Vietnam Airlines Le Hong Ha.

“We are so honored to be the first airport in the U.S. to offer nonstop regular flights to Vietnam. This new service truly makes San Francisco Airport the premier U.S. gateway airport, and we are proud to offer a world-class experience with seamless access throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. We are grateful to Vietnam Airlines for making San Francisco their first U.S. destination, and we are confident this new service will be a success,” said Director of San Francisco Airport Ivar C. Satero.

Initially, Vietnam Airlines will conduct 2 flights per week from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco by Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, the two most modern wide-body aircrafts in Vietnam Airlines fleet.

The airline aims to increase to 7 flights per week after the Covid-19 pandemic is under control and plans to open a new route to connect Los Angeles to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

This route will meet the huge demand of people, promote economic, cultural exchanges, and strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries. The bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and the U.S. increased about 200 folds, from US$451 million in 1995 to US$90.8 billion in 2020.

Qualifying the stringent aviation security and legal regulations of the U.S., the success of the route is also an important recognition for Vietnam’s aviation capacity generally and Vietnam Airlines particularly.