Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi) plans to join state-owned rival Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) and launch direct scheduled services from Viet Nam to California from September 1, 2021.

According to local media, the privately-owned carrier has already secured slots at both Los Angeles Int'l and San Francisco, CA airports. Its current timeline envisages the launch of charter flights in July 2021 and the subsequent ramp-up to scheduled operations from September. Bamboo Airways initially plans to use its B787-9s to connect Ho Chi Minh City with San Francisco 4x weekly, gradually increasing to daily. Bamboo Airways has also secured slots for daily services to Los Angeles, although they are due to be launched in the second phase.

Bamboo Airways has yet to file for, let alone secure, either exemption authority or a US Foreign Air Carrier Permit from the US Department of Transportation (DOT). And while it was authorised in October 2020 to operate 12 charter flights to the United States, it has so far not flown any.

In turn, Vietnam Airlines obtained its FACP in 2019. It initially targeted April 2021 to launch services from Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco but deferred these plans due to the ongoing COVID-related border restrictions. The ch-aviation schedules module indicates that it now hopes to commence 2x weekly services on August 3, 2021, using its A350-900s and operating via Anchorage Ted Stevens on the return leg.

Lao Động newspaper reported that Vietnam Airlines has yet to complete all procedural preparations the most prominent of which is securing US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) authorisation, which requires a visit by the agency's inspectors to Vietnamese origin airports.