Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways has received permission from the United States Department of Transport (DOT) to launch non-stop flights to the country. The consent will allow the airline to launch its US routes, potentially as soon as this year, depending on the pandemic recovery.
Bamboo Airways is almost turning two years old. The airline had intended to be operating scheduled long-haul flights by now. However, the current situation within the industry has thrown a spanner into the works. Despite this, the airline does have some long-haul experience after several European repatriation flights earlier this year.
United States flight permission
Operating flights to the United States has always been part of Bamboo Airways’ plan. Indeed, at one point, the airline floated the idea of operating such flights with an Airbus A380. Today the Vietnamese airline revealed that it would soon be able to fly across the Pacific.
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Bamboo has been granted permission to fly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to all of the United States’ international airports. At this initial stage, the airline is looking at launching flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The airline would use its Boeing 787 aircraft for such routes.
Commenting on the permission, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Trong, Deputy Director-General of Bamboo Airways said,
“Depending on the pandemic recovery of the US and market conditions, by the end of 2020 or at the beginning of 2021 at the soonest, we will operate nonstop flights to the US.”
Last year the United States Federal Aviation Administration granted Vietnam Category 1 status. That status means that Bamboo Airways can apply for the Foreign Air Carrier Permit that it today received. However, it will also allow the airline to seek codeshare agreements with potential US partners. This could have substantial positive implications for the Vietnamese airline as it looks to grow its international footprint.
What’s happening with Europe?
The news that Bamboo is seeking to launch routes to the US imminently is, of course, good. However, what’s happening with the airline’s European ambitions? In January, Simple Flying reported that Bamboo Airways would launch flights from Hanoi to Prague in April. This was to be followed by Munich flights in July.
Unfortunately, right as the airline was poised to launch such routes, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world. With the entire aviation industry struggling due to decreased passenger numbers, it didn’t make sense to launch the routes. The airline is still yet to relaunch ticket sales on the route.
On the Prague route, Bamboo Airways previously told Simple Flying,
“This flight route is expected to be put into operation when market conditions is stable enough to ensure maximum health safety for passengers.”
Are you excited by the prospect of Bamboo Airways flights to the United States? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!