Operating regular direct flights to the world’s most demanding and competitive market might not yield many short-term commercial gains but will certainly give Vietnam Airlines the chance to enhance its own quality.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus naVietnamese airlines have long viewed regular direct flights to the United States as a goal and “badge of prowess”, since it is the most fiercely competitive market with the strictest standards in the world. With the launch of regular direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco from the end of November 2021, Vietnam Airlines has officially become the first Vietnamese carrier to launch scheduled direct flights been the two countries.ec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

A Nation mission

Relations between Vietnam and the United States are witnessing strong development in all areas. The United States is currently Vietnam’s largest export market, having grown 230% in the past five years. The trade turnover between the two countries is expected to reach USD 100 billion for the first time in 2021.

Regular direct flights to the United States not only pave the way for Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnamese business community to conquer the world’s largest consumer market, but also serve as a political mission. As the flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines is contributing to improved bilateral relations and making it easier for the world’s largest overseas Vietnamese community to connect with their homeland.

Direct flights – a challenging, competitive journey

Approximately 2.2 million people of Vietnamese descent live in America, accounting for more than 50% of all the Overseas Vietnamese worldwide. Vietnam is also ranked sixth in the number of higher education students in the land of the star-spangled banner. As such, airlines have long been eyeing up the Vietnam – US aviation market.

However, as one of the longest routes in the world, operators must meet the most stringent standards, such as reducing their passenger and cargo loads compared to the aircraft’s design to ensure safety. They also face extremely fierce competition from airlines offering connecting flights, putting pressure on ticket prices. Connecting flights are more tiring and time-consuming, but in some cases, their fares can be up to 50% less than that of a direct flight.

It is no coincidence that, despite being eligible to fly directly to Vietnam, several US airlines still have to weigh the pros and cons of operating this challenging route. Such as United Airlines tried direct routes in past years but were eventually forced to discontinue them. On the other hand, with total traffic reaching around 700,000 passengers per year, a direct route between Vietnam and the United States is a great opportunity for Vietnam Airlines.

Vietnam Airlines’ CEO Le Hong Ha said: “Vietnam Airlines would have the ultimate competitive advantage of being the only airline operating direct flights between the two countries, shortening the maximum flight time to only about 13 hours for outbound flights and 16 hours for inbound flights compared to the over-20-hour connecting flights of other airlines. This will greatly save social and opportunity costs for our customers, while simultaneously increasing the airline’s ability to reach out to high-income customers and provide a new choice to passengers opting for connecting flights from the United States to domestic and international destinations operated by Vietnam Airlines. In addition, as a prestigious Skytrax-certified 4-star national airline aiming for a 5-star rating, meeting the world’s highest safety and disease-prevention standards is also an important factor for both domestic and international customers to trust and choose Vietnam Airlines.”.

Elevating our position

Many aviation experts conclude that the strategic aspect of establishing regular direct flights between Vietnam and the United States is more important than any short-term commercial gains. While it may not prove profitable for the first few years, successfully operating the most challenging route in the world will elevate the flag carrier’s position and competitiveness in the global market, allowing Vietnam Airlines to expand its operations and increase sales. This essential route will help to solidify Vietnam Airlines’ position among that the world’s leading airlines.

Establishing a regular direct flight route to the US is also an opportunity for Vietnam Airlines to realize its goal of becoming a 5-star airline. Dang Ngoc Hoa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnam Airlines, stated: “The regular direct flight route between Ho Chi Minh City – San Francisco has strategic significance to aid political missions and establish a commercial pathway between the two countries. In addition, this is an important step for Vietnam Airlines to improve its position as a prestigious airline in the region. In the immediate future, this new route will also help the airline optimize its wide-body fleet, bringing in significant revenues as many international routes have been suspended due to the impact of the pandemic and laying the groundwork for Vietnam Airlines to recover and develop in the future.”

Flight schedules between Ho Chi Minh City – San Francisco

Flight route

Departure time

Landing time

Flight date

Ho Chi Minh City – San Francisco



Wednesday, Sunday

San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City



Wednesday, Sunday

Promotions for Lotusmiles’ members flying between Ho Chi Minh City – San Francisco (depending on membership tier)

– Earn qualifying miles and bonus miles;

– Receive rewards for yourself, family, and friends, including award tickets, service upgrade awards, and excess baggage;

– Service offers:

+ Check-in at the SkyPriority counter;

+ Priority seat selection;

+ Priority baggage tag and free baggage allowance;

+ Priority track at security screening and entry and exit areas;

+ Lotusmiles lounge;

+ Priority boarding.