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!