Vietnam Airlines Flies Into the Future Vietnam is a country that continues to surpass its visitors’ expectations. It’s a place many travelers dream about, with exotic islands, bustling cities, mouthwatering cuisine and national parks that rival those we cherish in the western world. Those who have traveled to Vietnam know that Vietnam Airlines is one of the most luxurious ways to travel to the country, throughout Vietnam and to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Vietnam Airlines dates back to January of 1956, when the Vietnamese government established the Vietnam Civil Aviation Department. It was the birth of civil aviation in the country, and domestic flights began taking off later the same year. The tiny fleet consisted of just five aircraft.

Vietnam’s airline industry was greatly hampered by the Vietnam war, and it wasn’t until after the war that large expansions and upgrades to the industry were made. The war ended in 1975, and Vietnam’s first international flight landed in Beijing in 1976. The airline carried 21,000 passengers and 6,600,000 pounds of cargo that year.

Vietnam Airlines Flies Into the Future

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In 1978, the airline’s first flight to Bangkok was a success, and the ’80s and ’90s saw flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. Although, it was in 1993 that Vietnam Airlines became the country’s official national flag carrier. And two years later, Vietnam Airlines incorporated with 20 different airline enterprises to become the Vietnam Airlines Corporation.

The company began offering business class services in 1996 and introduced their frequent flier program in 1999. On Oct. 20, 2002, Vietnam Airlines revealed its new Golden Lotus logo to symbolize the company’s dramatic rise to being considered a world-class airline. Vietnam Airlines continued to prove its place in the modern airline industry when its very own state-of-the-art B777 was delivered in 2003.

The airline was honored with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate in 2006. They quickly became a member of the International Air Transport Association, which solidified their reputation as a Southeast Asian airline with international standards.

Vietnam Airlines Flies Into the Future

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Vietnam Airlines joined the SkyTeam airline alliance in June of 2010, and they’re currently striving to become Southeast Asia’s second largest full-service carrier. They’re interested in introducing flights to the United States, a country where more than 1 million Vietnamese people live.

In addition, Vietnam Airlines plans to transfer most of its international operations from its current hub, Tan Son Nhat International Airport, to the proposed Long Thanh International Airport. With a cost of approximately US $6 billion, the airport will, according to Vietnamese authorities, help Vietnam Airlines boost its operations internationally as it seeks to bypass Thailand as the dominant gateway to the Greater-Mekong region.

According to a number of newspaper reports in 2007, the Vietnamese government planned to partly privatize Vietnam Airlines. In the plan, the government considered selling a significant portion of the airline’s stake to outsiders, with the government holding the balance. This was a small part of a bigger proposal by the government to privatize its state-owned companies, due to be completed by 2010. Vietnam authorized the plan in 2011; however, the plan was not carried out since the airline missed its deadline scheduled by the government, which was arranged for 2010, due to the Global Financial Crisis.

If you’re planning on visiting Vietnam, there’s no doubt that in addition to the country’s majestic scenery, friendly people and delicious cuisine, you’ll be impressed by their luxurious, ever-expanding flag carrier airline — Vietnam Airlines.

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