Vietnamese Startup Airline Bamboo Airways Takes First Flight

Following the news on Monday that Bamboo Airways was going to commence flights within 48 hours, Simple Flying can confirm this has happened. Flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on Wednesday, the inaugural flight marked the end of over half a year of preparations. Despite multiple setbacks along the way, the airline persevered, which was shown as the aircraft pushed back sold out! However, this is not surprising as it is the world’s sixth busiest route. That’s not the only good news for the airline, however, as they also received their first A321neo from Airbus!

Bamboo Airways First Flight
The first Bamboo Airways flight departs Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Bamboo Airways

New Airline For Vietnam

By finally launching services, Bamboo Airways has become Vietnam’s latest carrier. That’s not a bad position to be in, considering that Vietnam has one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation industries. The country’s aviation industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate, 17.4% over the last decade. In fact, the number of passengers currently being carrier by Vietnamese airlines is expected to increase 16% by 2020, a figure which is already up 16% from 2016.

Bamboo Airways 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 Airways First Flight
Bamboo Airways also received its first A321neo aircraft yesterday. Photo: Bamboo Airways

Various Holdups

The first flight came just a week after Bamboo Airways jumped over the final hurdle to launching operations. Last week the airline finally received its air operators certificate from the Vietnamese authorities. Unlike Southwest Airlines, who have also faced delays launching their Hawaii service, Bamboo Airways gave a number of dates for its first flight which came and went. First was October, which was delayed by the issuance of a business license. The next date that was missed was late December, due to the lack of the air operators certificate.

Bamboo Airways First Flight
The airline held a ceremony to commemorate the delivery of its first brand new aircraft. Photo: Bamboo Airways

Big Plans

Bamboo Airways will initially launch with 37 domestic routes. It hopes to serve a total of 100 destinations. Later in the year, the airline intends to launch international services which wills ee the likes of Japan, Korea and Singapore added to the route network. The airline will accomplish this with a number of aircraft due to be delivered. In fact, the airline received it’s first brand new aircraft yesterday as Airbus delivered an A321neo. It is currently using a second-hand A319 to launch services. As such, Bamboo Airways is expecting 20 new Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Additionally, Bamboo Airways is expecting another 23 A321neo aircraft.

What do you make of Bamboo Airways’ launch? Let us know in the comments down below.