30 years on, US flights to Vietnam resume

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The Independent Online

An American passenger jet landed in Vietnam yesterday, the first since the Vietnam War ended nearly 30 years ago. United Airlines Flight 869 from San Francisco arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, at 3pm.

An American passenger jet landed in Vietnam yesterday, the first since the Vietnam War ended nearly 30 years ago. United Airlines Flight 869 from San Francisco arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, at 3pm.

The flight, carrying 260 people - including some Vietnamese who had fled their country after the war - was the first US commercial plane to touch down at Tan Son Nhat International airport since the wartime capital of former South Vietnam fell to the Communists in 1975.

Among the flight's passengers was a Vietnamese- American Bernard Lang, 62, who said that he left on the last military flight out of Saigon when it fell on 30 April, 1975. "I love it. I wanted to be on the first flight because of history," said Mr Lang.

Another passenger, Van Trinh, 48, one of the tens of thousands of Vietnamese who fled in boats after the war. "Thirty years is too long," she said.

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