Vietnam’s new private airline, Bamboo Airways made its maiden flight on January 16 after repeated delays. After receiving a business license last November, the company announced it would begin flights in December but was only able to secure an Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam in early January. Because of this, the airlines launch date was postponed two times.
Bamboo Airways said in a press statement that the airline plans to operate 37 domestic routes this year as well as start international flights to Japan, Singapore and South Korea. In order to serve its passengers, Bamboo Airways will use 20 narrow-body and wide-body aircraft that it is leasing for its operations.
Hotel and leisure company FLC Group, which owns Bamboo Airways will be competing in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets against state-owned Vietnam Airlines and budget carrier VietJet.
The company’s strategy is buy the newest and most efficient Airbus and Boeing aircraft to power its fleet and on top of 20 Boeing twin-aisle 787-9 Dreamliners that it agreed to buy for $5.6 billion USD last year, the company recently announced that it has agreed to buy 24 A321neo airplanes worth $3.2 billion USD from Airbus.
According to a statement on the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam’s website, in 2018, Vietnam’s airports handled 106 million passengers, a 12.9% increase over the previous year. During this period, Vietnamese carriers flew more than 50 million passengers, a 14% increase from 2017.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that Vietnam will be among the world’s top five fastest-growing air travel markets for the next 20 years. According to IATA, the route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is already the world’s sixth busiest in terms of passenger numbers last year and will continue to see passenger numbers increase and regional airports across the country are also expected to see growth through 2030.