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Cablegate: Civair Vietnam Will Get Back to Us On Open Skies Demarche

VZCZCXRO0272
PP RUEHHM
DE RUEHHI #1664 2611730
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181730Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6367
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 3707
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 2438
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 5968

UNCLAS HANOI 001664

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EEB/TRA/AN AND EAP/MLS
SINGAPORE FOR FAA MARY WALSH AND MIKE DANIEL
BANGKOK FOR TSA SHARON WALLOOPPILLAI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR KTIA VM
SUBJECT: CIVAIR VIETNAM WILL GET BACK TO US ON OPEN SKIES DEMARCHE

REF: STATE 123649

1. (U) On September 17 we met with Vo Huy Cuong, Director of Civil
Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV)'s Air Transport Department
to gauge the government of Vietnam's (GVN) interest in negotiating
an Open Skies Treaty with the United States, per reftel
instructions. We underscored in our demarche the accompanying
memorandum to the December 2003 Air Transport Agreement negotiated
between the two countries, in which the delegations noted "their
governments' expectations to meet within four years to consider
further expansion of commercial aviation opportunities for the
airlines of each side." Vu Hong Quang, Air Transport Department and
To Tu Hung, Manager of CAAV's International Affairs Division, also
attended the meeting.

2. (SBU) Cuong, a member of Vietnam's delegation during the June
18-20, 2003 U.S.-Vietnam Aviation Negotiations, responded that the
2003 U.S.-Vietnam Air Transport Agreement already stands as the
"most liberal" bilateral aviation agreement ever negotiated by the
GVN, and personally called an Open Skies Agreement "unavoidable."
He deferred judgment on the way forward, however, to the CAAV's
management board currently in Montreal for the September 18-28
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Session. He
promised to contact Post following the Board's return at the end of
the month to explore "where and when to negotiate what we promised
to do four years ago."

3. (SBU) In a separate but related note, on August 6, Vietnam
Airlines filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation for a
two-year exemption and a foreign air carrier permit to fly to the
United States. The filing states, "On or about October 28, 2008,
Vietnam Airlines intends to introduce Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka-Los
Angeles combination flights." This will now trigger a Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) International Aviation Safety
Assessment (IASA), which some of our contacts say Vietnam is
unlikely to pass. Post will report further developments and
contacts as they occur.

4. (SBU) Action request for EEB/TRA/AN: Please pass this cable to
DAS John Byerly, currently in Montreal for the ICAO Session. He may
want to consider meeting informally with the GVN delegation to
discuss further the possibility of an Open Skies Agreement.

MICHALAK

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