It’s been one first after another for Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways. Hot on the tail of its first European flight a week ago, the airline has now flown to Lithuania for the first time. The flight was operated to repatriate Europeans from Vietnam and Thailand.
Many foreigners are currently stranded away from their home countries as a result of the ongoing crisis in the aviation industry. A number of national carriers have been drafted in to bring their nation’s passengers home. For example, the British Government put £75 million aside for such flights yesterday. However, Bamboo Airways is increasingly taking part in returning Europeans who find themselves stranded in Vietnam.
Another first flight
Today’s flight is the second ‘first flight’ to be operated by Bamboo in the past week. On Wednesday the airline flew a Boeing 787 to Prague to repatriate a number of European nationals. This was the airline’s first flight to Europe. However, today the airline operated its first flight to Lituania, stopping in Thailand en route.
Today’s flight carried 220 passengers to Kaunas in Lithuania. The aircraft operating the flight was a Boeing 787 registered as VN-A819. It is known by the airline as ‘Ha Long Bay’. Today was the aircraft’s first flight since the 19th of March.
The Boeing 787 initially departed from Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) at 07:12. After a short hour-long hop, the aircraft touched down in Bangkok (BKK) at 08:10. Here it took on some more passengers bound for Europe.
The process of loading the remaining passengers in Bangkok took around two and a quarter hours, with the aircraft returning to the skies at 10:26. The aircraft then flew for an additional 10-hours. It arrived in Kaunas (KUN) at 16:26.
Precautions being taken
Of course, suitable precautions were taken to try and ensure that the flight was as safe as possible. In fact, the entire aircraft was disinfected before the flight and will be re-disinfected after as well. The areas disinfected include the cockpit, cargo hold and, of course, the passenger cabin.
On the ground, each passenger was required to remain two meters apart from the others, and onboard the flight facemasks were compulsory. Passengers also had to undergo health checks and a medical declaration prior to departing.
However, the crew also took precautions. Photos show that the crew was kitted from top to bottom in protective clothing including masks as would be expected on such a flight. According to the airline, the flight crew all received a special training element in preparation for the flight.
Were you on board the flight? What do you make of Bamboo Airways’ first flight to Lithuania? Let us know what you think and why in the comments.