Bamboo Airways is a new Vietnamese airline that was announced back to 2017. The big question is when the carrier will be ready to take off.
After Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air and Jetstar Pacific, here is another carrier which might soon enter the Vietnamese air market: Bamboo Airways, the property of the national conglomerate FLC Group. The group is active in real estate, tourism infrastructure, technologies, media as well as investment financing.
The airline was announced in 2017 for a possible start of operation in 2018. Bamboo Airways has already launched their website, bambooairway.vn, although it seems that the carrier will now take off in 2019.
FLC Group signed last March a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for 24 A321neo aircraft. According to Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group, Bamboo Airways is set to begin operations in 2019 with aircraft on lease from third party lessors before taking delivery of the aircraft covered by the MOU with Airbus.
The carrier wants to focus on linking international markets to Vietnamese leisure destinations, as well as selected domestic routes. In earlier assessments, FLC Group indicated their decision to avoid the overcrowded airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and base their headquarters at Quy Nhon’s Phu Cat Airport flying to secondary destinations such as Vinh, Thanh Hoa, and Dong Hoi.
Last month, FLC entered into an agreement with Boeing to buy 20 Boeing B787, its newest widebody long-haul aircraft. The transaction is estimated to cost US$5.6 billion in investment. Delivery is expected to begin from April 2020, through 2021, Boeing indicated in a statement. The aircraft will be deployed on long-haul routes and medium-range flights within Asia.
“We are excited to introduce these new 787-9 Dreamliners into our fleet as we prepare to launch long-haul operations to international markets,” said Mr Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group, owner of Bamboo Airways, adding “our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam to key markets within Asia, Europe and North America and the capabilities of these new state-of-the-art Dreamliners will help us achieve our goals. Bamboo Airways expects to be the first Vietnamese airline to have First Class.”
This month, the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam signed a decision to approve the establishment of Bamboo Airways, after receiving the proposal from the Ministry of Planning and Investment and having the approval of the relevant Ministries and Government agencies.