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LAX set to get new non-stop international service to Vietnam


Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has signed a letter of co-operation to work toward creating a regular Bamboo Airways non-stop flight between Los Angeles and Vietnam.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) operator, LAWA, has worked with the Office of Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board to secure the agreement.

As a result of the deal, Bamboo Airways will initially fly a limited number of charter flights between Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City while the airline works to set up regular scheduled service.

LAWA admits that it has long sought a non-stop route between LAX and Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City, located in the southeastern region of Vietnam.

The letter of co-operation – signed by Ambassador Nina Hachigian, deputy mayor of international affairs; LAWA CEO, Justin Erbacci; Bamboo Airways vice chairman and CEO, Dang Tat Thang; and Los Angeles Tourism and Convention board president and CEO, Adam Burke – outlines a mutual desire to enhance tourism and trade between LA and Vietnam by establishing a nonstop flight.

The agreement creates a framework for ongoing work to support the launch a nonstop flight between Los Angeles and Vietnam.

“We expect this movement will bring direct benefits to the aviation markets in two countries, making a substantial contribution to the development of bilateral and multilateral trade, tourism, and economy, especially in the post-epidemic period,” says Bamboo Airways CEO, Dang Tat Thang.

In 2019, more than 820,000 people flew between Vietnam and the United States, according to flight and passenger data. About 169,000 of those passengers made the trip to or from Los Angeles, which represents nearly 21% of the overall market between the US and Vietnam. That makes Vietnam the most underserved global market from the Los Angeles area.

LA is also the most popular destination city in the United States from Vietnam, with passenger traffic using connecting flights between the two destinations having grown 44% between 2014 and 2019.

“The ties between Los Angeles and Vietnam are strong and deep, with a thriving Vietnamese population across the region and a very active business community,” says LAWA’s Erbacci.

“There is strong demand for a non-stop flight between our airports and Bamboo Airways shares our desire to fill this critical gap in service. We are delighted to see them move toward the start of charter service, with the goal of creating a permanent and sustainable route in the near future.”

There is no doubting that the economic and cultural ties between Vietnam and Southern California are strong. The largest number of Vietnamese people outside Vietnam is in Orange County, followed by Los Angeles County, according to the US Census Bureau.

Indeed, for every new non-stop international flight to LA, there is a massive economic impact of about $800 million in direct and indirect spending.

“As one of our largest unserved international markets, we’ve long recognised the potential of direct air service between Los Angeles and Vietnam,” notes Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board’s president and CEO, Adam Burke. “We are thrilled about the opportunity Bamboo Airways brings to the City of Angels.”

Bamboo Airways operates a fleet of highly fuel-efficient Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft, which are capable of making the 8,169-mile flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles.

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