Vietnam Airlines Launches Ho Chi Minh City-SFO Route

Vietnam Airlines became the first Vietnamese airline to fly a nonstop scheduled route to the US when one of its Boeing 787-9 aircraft landed in San Francisco (SFO) on Nov. 28.

The flight, which originated in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), marked the beginning of Vietnam Airlines’ scheduled service to the US, which the airline said it has been working to establish for two decades.

The SkyTeam member will fly 2X-weekly between SGN and SFO. Both Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350 will operate the route, the airline says.

“The airline aims to increase to seven flights per week after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control,” Vietnam Airlines said in a statement.

The carrier also has future plans to fly from both SGN and Hanoi (HAN) to Los Angeles (LAX), although no date has been given for the launch of those routes.

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“We are very pleased to announce the success of the inaugural commercial [nonstop] flight to the US, marking a new milestone for Vietnam Airlines in particular and Vietnam’s aviation in general,” CEO Le Hong Ha said.

The airline added: “This route will meet the huge demand of people [who want to travel between the two countries], promote economic and cultural exchanges, and strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries … The success of the route is also an important recognition for Vietnam’s aviation capacity generally and Vietnam Airlines particularly.”

Vietnam Airlines, which is eyeing growing its North American footprint, earlier this year secured rights to fly to Canada.

The carrier operates 95 total routes to 29 international destinations and 22 domestic points.

Photo credit: Rob FInlayson

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.