US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink presents the FAA’s certificate to Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam. (Photo: VOV)
CAT 1 is an FAA safety standard based on 8 safety criteria of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The ICAO is a UN agency that codifies the recommended principles and techniques of international air navigation, operation, and maintenance of airplanes.
CAT 1 is mandatory for airlines operating flights to the US. A Category 1 rating means Vietnam’s civil aviation meets ICAO standards.
With Category 1 status, Vietnamese carriers will be able to establish direct services to the US and codeshare with US carriers.
It promises many cooperation and development opportunities for Vietnamese airlines to approach new markets and boost tourism development.
Nguyen Cong Hoan, deputy director of Hanoi Red Tour, said: “Once direct flights are set up, it will create great advantages for Vietnamese visitors to the US because they will no longer need to transit in intermediate airports. Americans coming to Vietnam will find it more convenient, also.”
Vietnam tour operators and travel companies have received millions of visitors from the US. American tourists spend more on travel than most other markets.
Pham Van Bay, branch deputy director of Viet Travel in Hanoi, said: “Viet Travel is ready to work with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to offer the best promotional programs for Vietnamese travelers.”
Vietnam airlines now can to operate direct flights to US destinations. (Photo: VNA)
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has rated Vietnam one of the world’s hottest markets, with an average annual revenue growth of 17.4% over the past 10 years, eclipsing the 7.9% rate of the Asia-Pacific region.
It’s estimated that air travel will double or triple in the near future. Earlier this year, Bamboo Airways, led by Trinh Van Quyet, became Vietnam’s 5th airline.
Nguyen Quoc Ky, Vietravel’s General Director, said in mid-January that he plans to establish Vietravel Airlines, which will be headquartered in Thua Thien-Hue province.
Low-cost carrier VietJet said it will operate direct flights to the US after it gets a license from the FAA. Vietstar Airlines is also asking for a license to operate as a passenger carrier.