Vietnam and the United States agreed on Tuesday to extend the validity of their 2003 air transport convention to March 3, 2012.
Under an agreement signed by Vietnam's Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung and US Ambassador Michael W. Michalak, the convention will also have its terms extended to facilitate the operation of the two countries' carriers, especially of freight.
For now, United, Northwest and FedEx are the only airlines flying between Vietnam and the US.
Vietnam Airlines hasn't begun direct flights to the US partly because Vietnam is yet to meet the other's standards of flight safety monitoring, the Saigon Times reports.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) is conducting the second and third stages of a US-sponsored project to enhance the country's capacity to monitor flight safety. The US$1.4 million project began in 2007.
Once the project is completed, the CAAV will invite the US Federal Aviation Administration to assess Vietnam's flight-safety monitoring capacity, likely between this August and October.