Following the news that Bamboo Airways had been granted an air transport business licence by the Vietnamese aviation authority, we now know when flights will commence. The airline intends to launch flights in late December. This would allow the airline to commence flights by the end of the year as it had previously hoped. The airline, owned by the FCL Group, will start operations with 10 aircraft.
Still Awaiting A License
While it seems exciting that Bamboo Airways finally has a launch date, the news could not be binding. Originally, the airline had been slated to commence operations on October 10th. This date came and went, with operations not commencing. Interest was, however, reignited when the airline announced the acquisition of an air transport business license. This was received in early November with the news that the airline would commence operations within 45 days. However, Aviation analysis site Flight Global pointed out that the airline still requires an air operators certificate. This shouldn’t be a problem to obtain by the airline, seeing as the government has already supported them issuing the business license.
We know the first route that will be operated by Bamboo Airways thanks to the Vietnamese Government. They previously told in a statement that this would be between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. We also know that these flights will likely utilise Airbus aircraft. According to Greg Waldron of Flight Global: “three aircraft are scheduled to start leases with Bamboo in the coming months – one A319 and two A320s that are listed as stored and managed by Standard Chartered Aviation Finance.”
While the airline hopes to operate 20 aircraft by the end of Q1 in 2019, they have stated that operations will commence with 8 aircraft. Bamboo’s Vice President, Duong Thi Mai Hoa, told that staff are in the process of being hired to support the launch of the airline. This is in addition to a memorandum of understanding recently signed. The MoU made with state-run Petrolimex sees Bamboo agreeing to use the company for fuel and insurance purposes. Phạm Văn Thanh, Petrolimex’s Chairman, told media: “We committed to provide preferential to Bamboo Airways in its earlier development period of at least 3 to 5 years.”
While Bamboo Airways will initially launch small, it has big ambitions. The airline has signed an order for 20 Boeing B787-9 aircraft and a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for 24 A321neo aircraft. It hopes to eventually fly as far afield as the United States, connecting countries with Vietnam’s rapidly growing tourism industry.
Do you think Bamboo Airways will meet the 29th December date? Let us know in the comments down below!