Bamboo Airways plans flights to S. Korea, Czech Republic

By Dat Nguyen   October 2, 2019 | 12:48 am PT
Bamboo Airways plans flights to S. Korea, Czech Republic
An attendee of Bamboo Airways leaves an aircraft upon its arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
Bamboo Airways plans to add services to Seoul, South Korea, this month and Prague, the Czech Republic, next year as it expands internationally.

The private carrier said in a recent release that on October 17 it would begin a daily return trip to Seoul from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City using narrow-bodied Airbus A321neo aircraft.

It said there is big demand for travel between the two countries. The number of Vietnamese travelling to South Korea until August this year rose 26 percent to over 371,000, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

In the reverse direction, between January and September the number rose 22 percent to 339,600, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Starting in first quarter of next year there will be three return weekly trips between Hanoi and Prague. Bamboo will use wide-body Boeing 787-9 on the route.

No Vietnamese carrier currently offers direct services to Prague, and a trip usually takes 14-19 hours. Bamboo Airways said direct flights could bring the time down to 12 hours.

Some 70,000 ethnic Vietnamese live in Prague, and this and the city’s proximity to other European destinations such as Poland, Slovakia and Germany mean there is high demand for travel between Vietnam and the Czech Republic, Bamboo Airways said.

The airline, which began flying last January, currently operates on 26 routes, including charter flights to international destinations such as South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

It plans to increase this number to 37-40 this year with regular services to South Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It also wants to fly to most popular European destinations by 2025.

The airline's current fleet of 10 aircraft is set to expand to 30 in the first quarter of next year and comprise Airbus A321neos, A320neos and Boeing 787-9s.

The carrier also targets a 30 percent share of the Vietnamese aviation market by next year.

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