Shame. I was hoping for United Airlines. Oh well never mind. Good for Vietnam I say (Get those communists out though)
Vietnam to sign first code-share with U.S. carrier
July 6, 2001 Posted: 9:51 AM EDT (1351 GMT
HANOI, Vietnam (Reuters) -- National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will sign its first code-sharing agreement with a U.S. airline in mid-July with AMR Corp's American Airlines, state media reported on Friday.
The Lao Dong newspaper said the signing would take place after two years' of negotiations between the two airlines.
The paper gave no further details and officials at Vietnam Airlines were not immediately available for comment.
A Vietnam Airlines official told Reuters in May the pact would allow the two airlines to buy seats on each other's flights on routes linking Vietnam and the United States.
U.S. and Vietnamese carriers are not allowed to land in each other's countries, and the former Vietnam War enemies have been unable to reach a full civil aviation accord despite several rounds of talks.
However, in March last year Hanoi and Washington signed a memorandum of understanding covering code-sharing that allowed U.S. and Vietnamese carriers to cooperate with airlines already flying in and out of each country.
Vietnam Airlines and Taiwan's largest carrier, China Airlines, started code-sharing flights in May to and from the United States, the only code-sharing agreement currently connecting Vietnam and the United States.
This arrangement allows the Vietnam Airlines to fly passengers to Taipei and then switch to Taiwanese planes for flights on to U.S. destinations.
An official from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said late last year he did not expect a bilateral aviation pact to be signed with the United States before 2002 as many disagreements remained. These include whether or not airlines should have the right to board more passengers at transit points.
Analysts say Hanoi appears to be delaying an accord to allow Vietnam Airlines time to boost its operations to cope with competition from giant U.S. carriers.
A landmark bilateral trade agreement between Hanoi and Washington has been sent to both the U.S. Congress and Vietnam's National Assembly for approval.
This accord did not cover aviation, but is expected to boost demand for flights between the two countries.
Increased flights would provide a strong boost for Vietnam's growing tourism industry.