Bamboo Airways maiden flight lands in Hanoi

By Dat Nguyen   January 16, 2019 | 01:14 am PT
Bamboo Airways maiden flight lands in Hanoi
Bamboo Airways lands its first flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on January 1, 2019. Photo by Bamboo Airways
Vietnam’s fifth airline completed its first official flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on Wednesday.

The Bamboo Airways flight, carrying 180 passengers and five crew members, landed at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi at 8.30 a.m.

"This is the first commercial flight and it is very important and meaningful for Bamboo Airways. Local and international customers expect a new experience in Vietnam with good service and reasonable price. We will give them the service of a friendly airline," said Dang Tat Thang, Bamboo Airways CEO.

He said the carrier plans to have 37 routes connecting major cities and travel destinations in Vietnam this year.

During the upcoming Tet, Lunar New Year Festival, which falls on February 2-10, Bamboo Airways will operate eight routes covering Hanoi, HCMC, the central towns of Quy Nhon and Dong Hoi, and the Central Highlands town of Buon Me Thuot.

It will also offer flights from HCMC to the Van Don International Airport that opened last month in northern Quang Ninh Province.

Bamboo Airways also plans to operate flights on international routes from Vietnam to Japan, Korea, Singapore and European countries this year.

The new carrier, owned by property and leisure firm FLC Group, is expected to make Vietnam’s aviation sector more competitive. The other carriers are Vietnam Airlines, its low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific, budget airline Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co.

Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of Bamboo and FLC, underplayed concerns about competition and infrastructure.

"Bamboo will compete with other airlines with its service quality and other factors that other airlines don’t have. We are not concerned about the constraints in aviation infrastructure in Vietnam, as the infrastructure keeps expanding rapidly and there has’t been any major congestion," he told Reuters.

Last July, Bamboo Airways signed a provisional deal to buy 20 Boeing 787-9 wide-body jets worth $5.6 billion at list prices, and a memorandum of understanding in March with Airbus for up to 24 A320neo narrow-bodied aircraft.

The airline plans to expand its fleet to 40-50 by the end of this year.

Vietnam’s tourism has boomed in recent years, with a surge in the number of both domestic and international passengers.

The country welcomed 15.5 million foreign tourists last year, up 19.9 percent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office. Of these, 12.5 million of them came by air, up 14.4 percent.

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