On thursday, Dec 09, 2004, United Airlines will take off from San Francisco and land in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – the first flight into Vietnam from America since 1975. The flight is the latest sign that America’s relationship with Vietnam is growing stronger.
For many Vietnamese Americans, the flight symbolizes healing past wounds. United offers Vietnamese Americans a greater sense of comfort and security over previous airlines – some may feel more safer knowing an American airline is providing transporation. Although United’s flight may be a small step towards a bigger relationship between Vietnam and America, the flight helps to break down some Vietnamese American fears about visiting Vietnam.
Previously to fly to Vietnam, passengers needed to book American flights to Asian countries like Japan or Taiwan. From their they would take an Asian airline to Vietnam. Now with United providing service – Vietnamese Americans are thinking “if American airlines are flying into Vietnam, then its safe for me to”.
However, not all Vietnamese Americans are exited over these new developments. There are members of the community that have hoped the communist regime could have been defeated by United States financially isolating Vietnam. Now that the relationship between Vietnam and America is growing, many fear that the increased trade between the nations will only make the Communist Party in Vietnam stronger.
As of late, Vietnam has experienced a boom in trade from the United States – up almost 2 billion from two years ago.