A Bamboo Airways A321 mockup (Photo: FLC Group)

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to Commence Operations This Month

Vietnamese start-up Bamboo Airways announced Saturday that they will commence operations from Wednesday, Jan. 16 after being granted an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) this week. In a statement released yesterday, the airline, which is owned by FLC Group, self-described as ‘one of the largest economic groups in Vietnam,’ said tickets would be on sale from today and fares would start from VND 149,000 (USD6.40). The airline will also sell packages billed as ‘Combo fares’ combining air tickets and golf experiences at the parent company’s resorts.

Initially, the airline will fly from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to popular domestic destinations such as Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Buon Me Thuot, Da Nang, Vinh, Thanh Hoa, Dong Hoi and Van Don. The airline states that international expansion will occur later this year with flights to the Korean peninsula, Japan and Singapore.

As previously reported, Bamboo Airways have a provisional deal with Boeing for 20 787-9 aircraft and a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for up to 24 A320neos. However, the airline will commence operation this week with leased A319 and A320 aircraft expanding from an initial 10 to 20 with a mix of narrowbody and widebody aircraft as the network expands.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam reported an almost 13 percent growth in passenger numbers at Vietnamese airports in 2018, up to 106 million, with Vietnamese airlines carrying over 50 million passengers in 2017. IATA has listed the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh route as the sixth busiest in the world by passenger numbers.

The airline bills its business model as ‘Hybrid’ combining ‘traditional aviation and low-cost aviation to bring reasonable prices and quality service to optimize customer experience.’ Fares released on Saturday are available in three categories: Bamboo Eco (Economy Class), Bamboo Plus (Flexible Economy Class), Bamboo Business (Business Class).

The airline also announced it will have a loyalty program called ‘Bamboo Club’ and will seek to convert those passengers who are members of other airline frequent flier programs to their own.

Bamboo Airways Vice President Duong Thi Mai Hoa said, “We hope that Bamboo Airways’ published promotions will encourage increased travel demand at new destinations… offering rich services and prices to meet the diverse needs of passengers.” Bamboo Airways becomes the fifth Vietnamese-based airline operating within the country.

John Flett
John Flett
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