Vietnam Airlines Delays Planned US Flight until Late Next Year

Vietnam Airlines has delayed its plan to open direct flights to the United States, probably to the end of next year at the latest, a company official said Monday.

The Vietnam national flag carrier said earlier that it aimed to establish the air link with its former enemy by the end of this year to tap growing potential in bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has also urged the state-owned company to speed up the project, which has experienced several delays.

"Because of the US latest safety regulations, Vietnam Airlines was asked to obtain the technical landing permission and experience security checks for all its flights to the US," said spokesman Trinh Ngoc Thanh.

"The survey conducted by the American Federal Aviation Administration on the Vietnam Civil Aviation Authority and Vietnam Airlines will end at the first quarter of 2008 at the earliest.

"Therefore, we have to reschedule our plan to late next year at the earliest," he told AFP.

The online VNExpress newspaper quoted deputy general director Pham Ngoc Minh as saying strong competition in the US market has also been a reason to delay the unready business.

Source: AFP

Other news