How Bamboo Airways Will Establish United States Flights

Recently, Bamboo Airways revealed that they wanted to launch flights to the USA, using an A380!

Bamboo Airways 787
Bamboo Airways currently uses the 787-9 for long-haul operations. Photo: Bamboo Airways

But what processes will they have to go through to launch this service, and what does the road to the west look like for the plucky Vietnamese carrier?

What are their plans?

Bamboo Airways is the dream child of FLC group, a vast resort company that wants a direct way to fly patrons to their sites from across the world (talk about vertical integration!).

How Bamboo Airways Will Establish United States Flights
Bamboo Airways will use their A321neo for short or medium-haul flights. Photo: Bamboo Airways

They have 10 aircraft flying today (most are leased aircraft) and have on order they have 46 Airbus A321neos for their domestic regional network, and 30 Boeing 787-9s for their international network. They also have plans to lease an A380 (perhaps from Hi Fly) and use it to fly to San Francisco!

Bamboo US Flights
A graphic on the airline’s website indicates San Francisco will be served. Source: Bamboo Airways

But in order to achieve these lofty goals, they will need to train up a ton of pilots.

How will they train their pilots?

In a recent press release, Bamboo Airways revealed their plans for a vast training institute for pilots.

The $30m facility will be called the Bamboo Airways Aviation Training Institute and will sprawl over 10 hectares of land. Bamboo Airways will train up to 3,500 pilots, ground crew, flight attendants and gate agents at the site. AINonline quoted Ho Thi Thu Trang, human resource director of Bamboo Airways and deputy director of Bamboo Airways Training Center as saying,

“On-site training is the overall plan … After being put into operation, the Institute will contribute to increasing the localization rate of industry personnel, reducing dependence on foreign partners, improving industry competitiveness as well as ensuring sustainable growth of Vietnam’s aviation industry.”

They will be partnering up with an NZ aviation academy to provide the pilot training. They plan to open this center by 2022.

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

How does this fit into US plans?

In order to fly to the USA, Bamboo Airways will need to meet several requirements.

  • The first is to be a category one airline. This category system is a ranking from the FAA to determine if the airline is safe to travel on. Only in February did the FAA grant all Vietnamese airlines the authority to fly into their airspace as category one airlines.
  • They will need aircraft to make the journey. By using an Airbus A380 or Boeing 787-9, they will meet this requirement
  • They need to prove that their pilots are internationally trained and recognized, and have the correct certification to fly into US airports. By partnering up with an NZ flight academy, they can ensure that their pilots get this training.
  • Final FAA approval to actually fly into US airspace, which they hope to have by Q4 of 2019.

They plan to fly to the US before the end of the year.

What do you think? Will this be enough to fly to the US? Let us know in the comments.