Bamboo Airways has confirmed plans to launch flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco.

The Vietnamese carrier has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with San Francisco International airport, following a special authorisation flight which took place between Noi Bai International and San Francisco last week.

Subject to US government approvals, Bamboo plans to initially serve the Ho Chi Minh-San Francisco route four times weekly using its B787-9 aircraft, “with a build up to daily frequencies based on market demand”. No launch date has yet been given for the service.

The new route would represent the first regularly scheduled nonstop flights between Vietnam and the US.

Bamboo said that the nonstop service would reduce travel time between the two cities to between 15 and 16 hours, compared to 20 hours for transit flights.

The start-up carrier launched its first domestic flights in early 2019,  and late last year was granted a Foreign Air Carrier Permit by the US Department of Transportation, paving the way for flights to the United States.

It has previously talked of launching routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to US destinations such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Bamboo Airways cleared to fly from Vietnam to US

Commenting on the news SFO Airport Director Ivar C Satero, said:

“We are truly proud to be the first airport in the United States to offer nonstop flights to Vietnam. This decision reinforces SFO as the premier US gateway of choice, offering a world-class airport experience with seamless access throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We thank BAV (Bamboo Airways) for choosing San Francisco for their US expansion, and we are committed to making this new service a success for both BAV and the customers they serve.”,