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  • Nat Frogley


Updated: May 10, 2023

This afternoon, under the witness of Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son, Vietnam Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UK-registered charity Facing The World (FTW) and the World Alliance of Airway Management (WAAM) in the fields of medical training and community health care.

According to the cooperation agreement, over the next five years, Vietnam Airlines will fly specialist FTW teams to Vietnam to provide training for Vietnamese doctors, enabling them to perform life-changing operations on children born with disabling facial deformities; and to donate key equipment to Vietnamese hospitals to facilitate the efficient performance of complex surgeries; as well as other charitable activities across the country. In addition, Vietnam Airlines will also transport experts from all over the world to Vietnam for the WAAM Conference to be held in Vietnam in 2024.

Le Hong Ha, President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines, said: “Our long-term goal is to help enable Vietnamese doctors to learn new techniques and approaches from the world’s leading surgeons. We are proud to continue to support charities such as Facing the World and not-for-profit organisations such as the World Alliance of Airway Management. Through this cooperation, Vietnam Airlines wants to affirm its role in supporting the healthcare sectors of both Vietnam and the UK, thereby strengthening trust, friendship and long-term cooperation between the two countries.”

Katrin Kandel, CEO of Facing The World, said: “Thousands of children in Vietnam need urgent surgery to their head and neck, to treat physical abnormalities that limit their quality of life. But despite huge advances in medical care there, many are unable to access the treatment they need. These cases can be incredibly complex and require highly specialist skills in difficult airway management, often because breathing structures are distorted. Having the support of both Vietnam Airlines and the World Alliance of Airway Management, doctors in Vietnam can now train in the latest techniques to manage these challenging surgical cases. Our fellowship programmes in the UK, US and Australia allow doctors in Vietnam to increase the standards of care and change the lives of children all over the country.”

Vietnam Airlines has supported FTW's volunteer activities in Vietnam annually since 2015. 2019 marked an important milestone in the airline’s CSR efforts with the signing of a five-party Memorandum of Understanding, including FTW's counterparts in Vietnam, 108 Military Central, Viet Duc and Hong Ngoc hospitals, with a goal of training 140 doctors and performing more than 40,000 life-changing surgeries within the next five years in Vietnam.

On this meaningful journey of changing the lives of children affected by facial deformities, Vietnam Airlines has worked hand in hand with voluntary organisations to carry out humanitarian missions, including supporting the transportation of doctors and nurses from Operation Smile providing free surgery for children with cleft lip, cleft palate and maxillofacial deformity; and from Vietnam Heart Programme to support the cost of heart surgery for children.


About Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines, a Skytrax four-star airline, is the flag carrier of Vietnam and a leading carrier in South East Asia, operating 96 routes to 22 domestic and 27 international destinations. Vietnam Airlines boasts one of the youngest and most modern fleets in Asia, highlighted by their Boeing 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliners, Airbus A350-900 XWBs, and Airbus A321neos. Vietnam Airlines has spearheaded Vietnam’s aviation market – one of the fastest-growing domestic markets in the world – throughout 30 years of development at a double-digit annual growth rate. Positioning itself as a modern carrier characterised by high quality services embedded with Vietnamese cultural identity, Vietnam Airlines aims to be designated as a five-star, leading Asian airline.

About Facing the World

The organisation pioneered a bold new approach to sustainable healthcare, resulting in self-run centres of excellence in the countries where it works, that are able to provide crucial surgery to children born with disabling facial deformities, and that can be replicated both nationally and internationally.

About the World Alliance of Airway Management

WAAM is an alliance that includes Difficult Airway Society (DAS), European Airway Management Society (EAMS) and Society for Airway Management (SAM).

For further press information please contact:

Sheila Manzano (, Nat Frogley ( or Flora Gandolfo ( at Frog & Wolf PR.

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