Bamboo Airways Eyes European Flights Within Next Six Months

Favorite airline startup Bamboo Airways is planning a new route to Europe’s Czech Republic capital Prague from its hub in Hanoi. The new route will be operated by a new Boeing 787-9 and will fly three times a week. The tentative date for the launch of the route is the first quarter of 2020.

Bamboo Airways 787
Bamboo Airways wants to use the 787-9 for long-haul operations to Europe. Photo: Bamboo Airways

Who is Bamboo Airways?

Bamboo Airways, a new startup airline from Vietnam, appears to be going from strength to strength. Since their launch in January 2019, they have grown their fleet to 10 leased aircraft (one Airbus A319, five A320s, and four A321neos) with a huge order for more aircraft on the way (30 Boeing 787-9s, two A330-200s, and 46 A321neos).

Bamboo Airways Eyes European Flights Within Next Six Months
Bamboo Airways will soon acquire an A330 to complement its A320 family aircraft. Photo: Bamboo Airways

The airline made recent news with its upcoming IPO offering to private investors. The Airline is looking for $56 million USD for fleet expansion and to help it take over the Vietnam market share.

“The fundraising will help us to expand our fleet as we want to take 30% of the domestic market next year,” said Trinh Van Quyet, the Hanoi-based chairman of the startup carrier, in a phone interview to Bloomberg. 

They currently fly domestically in Vietnam, with one route to China, South Korea and Japan respectively. So the news that they might be flying to Europe is news indeed!

What are the details of the new route?

The airline has put plans into motion to open a new route between its hub Hanoi and Prague in Europe. The memorandum of understanding was signed months ago, but this is the first time we have heard of solid plans.

Bamboo Airways
The new route on Bamboo Airways. Photo: GCmaps

As reported by Vietnam Plus, the route will be flown by a new Bamboo Airways 787-9 (The first to be delivered this year) and will operate three times a week.

A representative of the airline spoke to Vietnam Plus explaining that the Czech Republic was an important source of passengers for the airline and would be the stepping stone to opening more routes to Europe. The airline plans to have all major European cities covered by their Dreamliner fleet by 2025.

What does the government think of this new deal?

Government officials from the Czech Republic recently visited Vietnam and took time from their junket to meet with Bamboo Airways, and offer their support in officiating the new route.

“The Czech Republic government welcomes and fully supports the launch of the route, thus contributing to boosting bilateral trade and cultural exchange,” said a Czech Republic official to Vietnam Plus. “The Czech delegation also held a working session with FLC Group’s Bamboo Airways to debate the guarantee of security when it comes to opening direct air route between the two countries.”

The route is expected to start operating in the first quarter of 2020. We don’t know for sure if this will be the first route operated by the Dreamliner, but likely it will be the airline’s first true long-haul route.

What do you think of the new route? Will you be flying to Europe on the new Bamboo Airways Dreamliner? Let us know in the comments.