Vietnamese startup Bamboo Airways has lost no time in putting its stunning 787-9 Dreamliner to work. Received on the 22nd December, it wrote Bamboo Airways’ name in the history books as the first privately owned airline in Vietnam to operate widebody aircraft. With no time to lose, Bamboo Airways put the aircraft into service on January 2nd, operating domestic routes presumably while the airline familiarizes itself with the type. But what can passengers expect from the new aircraft?
What’s inside the new Dreamliner?
The shiny new Bamboo Airways 787 is configured with 294 seats between three classes. There is space for 26 in the business class cabin, 21 in premium economy and a total of 247 economy seats.
Bamboo describes itself as a ‘hybrid’ airline. This indicates that it is looking to combine bare essential fares in economy to compete with the low-cost end of the market with comfortable travel in business. Looking at the design of the business class cabin, it certainly appears they’ve got the aesthetics right.
Business is in a 1-2-1 layout, with a lie flat bed and privacy partitions between seats. Judging by the images, the airline has gone for the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats. These are the same seats found on American Airlines, Xiamen Air, China Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Virgin Australia, Air Canada, British Airways’ modified Club Suite, and many more.
Bamboo Airways says that its business class product uses “high-quality leather and fabric from the world’s leading manufacturers such as Botany Weaving (Ireland) and Lantal.” The design is certainly easy on the eye, with the walnut accents making for a luxurious experience.
The airline notes that each individual business class passenger can set their own mood lighting and color customization to create the right ambiance for reading, relaxing or sleeping. The seat appears to be controlled from a touchscreen panel, and, as usual with the Dreamliner, those dimmable windows are installed for natural light control.
Further back in the cabin, the 787’s premium economy cabin takes up three rows of seats, enough space for 21 passengers. It’s laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration, with a pitch of 38” between seats.
The airline has gone for the Rockwell Collins premium economy seat, which offers a substantial recline of around 8”. The seats also have footrests, headrests and coat hanger pegs. The footrest and back support can both be controlled from the IFE screen, and every seat has a headphone jack, power socket and USB port.
Back in economy, the airline provides a 32” pitch in all seats which should make for a comfortable journey. The standard 3-3-3 layout is split across two cabins with bathrooms in between.
Excitingly, Bamboo Airways’ seat map for the Dreamliner also indicates there will be four first class suites on board.
The airline has confirmed that this will not be seen until its 5th 787-9 is delivered, presumably the first to fly long haul. It will be super interesting to see how they set up this space, as they’ll be only the fourth airline to offer a first product on the 787 airframe (alongside Oman Air, British Airways and Etihad).
Where can you fly it?
The new Bamboo Airways 787-9 certainly looks to be a stunning beast. Although those lie flat seats won’t really come into their own until the airline begins long hail missions, the next few weeks look set to offer a great opportunity to experience widebody comfort on short-haul flights.
Initially, the airline is operating its 787 on the busy Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh service for three of its 14 daily services. These are flight numbers QH245, QH219 and QH297 from Hanoi, and QH202, QH218, QH208 from HCMC. By mid-January, the airline plans to add Dreamliner service to flight numbers QH211 and QH259 from Hanoi, as well as QH204 and WH256 from Ho Chi Minh City. A Hanoi to Phu Quoc rotation will also be added, as flights QH1621 and QH1622.
Looking at the booking site, one way flights between HAN and SGN start from 99,000 VND ($4.26) in economy, 499,000 VND ($21.49) in premium economy and 3,000,000 VND ($129.23) for business class comfort.
Will you be checking out Bamboo’s new 787 Dreamliner? Let us know in the comments.