No Joke: Bamboo Airways Has United States Airbus A380 Plans

This week’s bizarre aviation news story sees Bamboo Airways planning to use an Airbus A380 for flights to the US. The Vietnamese startup carrier finally commenced flights earlier this year.

Bamboo Airways Airbus A380 US Flights
Bamboo Airways reportedly wants to start Airbus A380 flights to the United States. Photo via Pixabay

Bamboo Airways has become a Simple Flying favourite for its determination to overcome every obstacle in its way. Now, the airline appears to be looking to take things to the next level. We’ve have known for some time that the Vietnamese carrier has planned to fly to the United States of America. However, now One Mile At A Time reports that the company is looking to do this using the Airbus A380.

Bamboo Airway’s background

Bamboo Airways commenced services in January of this year. The airline was started up by the FLC group, a Vietnamese company which owns a portfolio of holiday destinations in Vietnam. The primary purpose of Bamboo Airways is to connect passengers to FLC group resorts.


Bamboo had originally been eyeing a launch of services in October. However, a delay in getting a business license put this off. The start date was then pushed to December, but this was also missed because the airline was waiting on its Air Operators Certificate. On January 16th, the airline finally took flight operating from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi.

Bamboo Airways Airbus A380 US Flights
Could Bamboo Airways wet-lease HiFly’s Airbus A380? Photo: Hifly

US flights

From the beginning, the carrier has been very vocal about wishing to commence flights to the United States. Bamboo’s future route map shows that it wishes to fly to San Francisco in addition to another mystery destination. Simple Flying previously speculated that this could be Las Vegas or Denver.

Launching flights to the US shouldn’t be too difficult, as earlier this year Vietnam received a Category One safety rating from the FAA. Indeed, Bamboo Airways is currently in the process of acquiring the relevant permissions from the Federal Aviation Administration. It was previously believed that Bamboo would launch US flights with their 20 Boeing 787 aircraft on order.


What about the A380?

Several outlets have reported that Bamboo Airways’ CEO said they wish to launch flights to the United States in the first quarter of 2020. This is based on the assumption that they will receive FAA approval by the end of this year.

Bamboo Airways Airbus A380 US Flights
What a Bamboo Airways Airbus A380 could look like. Image: Simple Flying

Reports suggest that the Vietnamese airline would use a leased Airbus A380. There is currently only one Airbus A380 on the market available to wet-lease, however with other airlines looking to ditch the plane, some could become available on the second-hand market. Indeed, this is something which Airbus told Simple Flying in March that they were actively trying to support.

It is currently unknown which avenue Bamboo Airways would pursue to acquire an Airbus A380. While I personally don’t think that it would be the best aircraft for Bamboo Airways’ mission, I’d certainly love to see their livery on the A380.

What do you make of Bamboo Airways’ A380 plans? Let us know in the comments!


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Nancy Wang

cool dude

Alastair Marshall

Direct to Vietnam would be awesome! And on an A380 too, couldn’t be better.

Azman Shah Kader Ibrahimsah

As I told b4, A380 will b around 4 a long time 2 go since its trouble free aircraft.


Tom the A380 hater..


The next EU Commission President needs to tell Airbus to make an electric A380e or something like that. Can be done by 2025 or so. Quick battery swap at the airport. Range might start only for short range but could extend to long range as battery technologies improve.


I wish Airbus would be able to make a 2 engine variant of this majestic beast. For many routes it should be feasible to fill it up, the cost of operating it just needs to go dow, by 20 to 30%.


FLC Group has been a non-airlines oriented business entity up until Bamboo Airways, and can understand the irurgency to launch flights using A380 to the US in lieu of B787s delivery to start earning profit and of course to be ahead of their Vietnamese competitors. My suggestion to the airline would be to be patient for another 5-6 months focusing on preparing the pilot and maintenance team ready for the first B787 arrival next year and be solid on that front rather than running itself thin in terms of operation and cost of an A380.

Rahul Iyer

If Bamboo Airlines and the Vietnamese can pull it off, it will be a real boon for Vietnam. I am always gung-ho about Vietnam. I fly to Vietnam quite often from the Western USA. If there was a flight that ran from say, Denver (or appropriate–will deal with SFO, LAX, SEA, or San Diego also) to Vietnam (Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh, or Da Nang), and it was reasonably priced, I would definitely take it. If it went PHX (Phoenix) to Vietnam, I will definitely take it as I am based out of metro Phoenix.