The QH9149 flight, using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, took off at 7:55 p.m. from Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport for San Francisco.
The flight, the first of 12 direct flights between Vietnam and the U.S. that Bamboo Airways has won approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is expected to take over 14 hours.
The flight crew included four pilots, 14 flight attendants and several technicians and ground controllers to perform necessary functions at the San Francisco Airport.
Before the flight took off, a commemoration ceremony was held at the airline’s headquarters on Cau Giay Street the same day.
Nguyen Manh Quan, deputy general director of Bamboo Airways, said the flight was a historic one, not just for Bamboo Airways also for Vietnam’s aviation industry itself.
“We will once again affirm the capability for operation, safety, security and infrastructure for Vietnamese airlines and the entire Vietnamese aviation industry in general,” he said at the meeting.
Nguyen Ngoc Trong, another deputy general director of Bamboo Airways, said the flight’s goals were to serve tourists in both Vietnam and the U.S., foster commercial, diplomatic and cultural exchanges, and to affirm the status of Bamboo Airways, considering that direct flight to the U.S. is among the hardest flight paths to achieve.
“In the last two years, we’ve managed to see opportunities in developing flights not just within Vietnam, but also in Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia like Japan, Taiwan, and even reaching towards Europe and Australia. And now, to the U.S.,” he said.
“By introducing direct flights to the U.S. at this moment in time, we’re showing that we are ready to operate commercial flights once the pandemic dies down to meet customers’ demands in both countries,” he added.
Bamboo Airways had earlier announced plans to organize three direct flights to the U.S. each week, gradually increasing the frequency to 5-7 flights, and then to daily flights.
Vietnam Airlines has conducted several direct U.S. flights for Covid-19 repatriation purpose. The national carrier said this week it is set to receive its final permit from U.S. authorities soon to conduct regular direct flights to the U.S. after nearly two decades of preparation.
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