Vietnam Airlines In Swirl of Missteps

Chief government inspector Quach Le Thanh told lawmakers at Vietnam's National Assembly on Thursday that investigators are examining a host of problems with Vietnam Airlines including company finances, engine purchases, aircraft leasing and pilot actions. Pilots of a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Hanoi, Vietnam to Frankfurt, Germany on April 17, for example, did not communicate with air traffic control for 65 minutes while flying over Eastern Europe. Finally, the Czech air force sent a jet to flank the plane, which had 200 passengers onboard, and ordered it to land. Only after seeing the military aircraft did the pilots turn on the communications system and make contact with ground control. The plane reached its destination safely. The pilots have since been retrained and an airline source confirmed they are back on the job. In addition, the co-pilot of another Boeing 777 was arrested in early June in Sydney, Australia, for failing to declare $500,000 in cash he was carrying back to Vietnam. The airline also has been fined $6.5 million after losing a lawsuit from an Italian lawyer who claimed the carried didn't pay his legal fees on a contract more than a decade ago. And finally, on Wednesday, Vietnam Airlines chief Nguyen Xuan Hien denied the airline purchased the "wrong engines" for its Boeing 777s. The airline bought its first four Boeing 777s in 2002, but it opted for Pratt & Whitney engines to power them; those engines were designed for short and medium distances. Most airlines use long-haul engines designed by General Electric or Rolls Royce for 777 service.

FREE Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4

Are you prepared to guide your clients through the “new normal” of travel? Join us December 15, 2020 from 1pm-2:20pm EST for Pivoting Back to Travel: Phase 4. The upcoming installment of our FREE virtual series will feature presentations from the Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, and Seabourn on their most up-to-date travel procedures, health & safety protocols they’ve implemented to keep guests safe, activities that are open to visitors, what your clients need to know while on their trip and more! Visit www.pivotingbacktotravel to view the full agenda and register for your FREE pass.

Suggested Articles:

Thailand announced a new tourist visa for U.S. travelers to apply in advance to visit safely for up to 60 days. Here's what you need to know.

Accor is taking full ownership of sbe’s hotel asset light business and entered an all-share merger with Ennismore. Here's what it means.

After cruising successfully in Europe the past few months, MSC Cruises is the first major line to receive approval for cruises from Japan. Read more.