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Business trends

Vietnam to start direct flights to US as early as this year

Nonstop service to cut travel time to San Francisco by eight hours

A woman walks past a Vietnam Airlines ticket office in Hanoi. The flag carrier is expected to be one of the first airlines in the country to offer nonstop flights to the U.S.   © Reuters

HANOI -- Vietnamese airlines are preparing to launch direct flights to the U.S., paving the way for a new era of economic ties between the Southeast Asian country and its biggest export market.

Three local airlines, including flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, are expected to start nonstop U.S.-bound flights as early as this year, which will shorten the travel time by about eight hours.

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