American Airlines Seeks Deal With Vietnam Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas_American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier, is asking federal officials to let it and Vietnam Airlines sell seats on each other's flights beginning early next year.

American said Monday that the so-called code-sharing agreement would begin with Vietnam Airlines putting its two-letter symbol on American flights from the United States to Japan and Europe. Those flights would connect to Vietnam Airlines flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The airlines would also sell seats on some of each other's domestic flights, American said. American, a unit of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., said it had filed the code-sharing request with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Vietnam Airlines is interested in selling seats on American flights from the U.S. to Tokyo and Osaka in Japan and to Paris and Frankfurt, Germany. Eventually, American intends to sell seats on the Vietnam Airlines flights from Vietnam to Japan and Europe, which would let it sell a single ticket to a traveler going from Hanoi to the United States.

Henry Joyner, American's senior vice president for planning, said Vietnam is among the top Asian destinations and traffic between the United States and Vietnam has grown quickly.

Vietnam Airlines is Vietnam's national carrier. It operates 38 planes between 16 cities in Vietnam and 26 foreign cities.

Currently, UAL Corp.'s United Airlines is the only U.S. carrier with service to Vietnam, with flights from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City.