Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi) is in the process of adding its maiden widebody aircraft, an ex-Vietnam Airlines A330-200. Going forward, the carrier is also eyeing leasing an A380-800 for its touted flights to the United States.
Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows A330-200 msn 943 was ferried from storage at Lourdes/Tarbes to Manchester Int’l on June 21. It was subsequently repainted into Bamboo Airways’ livery and departed back to Lourdes on July 1. The 11-year-old aircraft is owned by FPG Amentum and currently registered as 2-RLAX ahead of its transfer to the Vietnamese register. Bamboo Airways is planning to acquire up to thirty B787-9s from Boeing for its planned long-haul expansion. Deliveries are, however, only scheduled to start during the third quarter of 2020.
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the carrier currently operates an all-narrowbody fleet including one A319-100, two A320-200s, and three A321-200neo. It is also in the process of adding another two A320s and one A321neo and wet-leases a further three A320s. Meanwhile, Bamboo Airways is also planning to add more second-hand widebody aircraft, including a leased A380-800. Chairman and CEO of parent company FLC Trinh Van Quyet told the Financial Times that the carrier would like to use the A380 on new direct services to the United States where it is looking at serving either San Francisco, CA or Los Angeles Int’l from either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
“We will start in the first quarter of 2020 if we get permission by the end of this year,” he said. Vietnam secured FAA Category 1 status earlier this year, paving the way for direct flights. Thus far, only Vietnam Airlines has applied for and been granted, exemption authority by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). It has, however, said that while it was considering direct services to the US, they would probably be loss-making and would require subsidies from the Vietnamese government. (Ch-Aviation)
“The airline had its inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on January 16. “Launching the first route into the US internationally is a challenge for any existing carrier, but it is more difficult for the newer ones,” David Yu, adjunct professor of finance at New York University Shanghai who specializes in aviation, tells Business Traveller Asia-Pacific. Yu added: “Not only are there logistical challenges but adding a large aircraft with significant capacity like this instance requires carefully thought out planning. Their success here will show that there are other routes for larger aircraft and also build steam for Bamboo in their fast growth plans.” Vietnam’s flag carrier Vietnam Airlines also has ambitions to fly to the US. bambooairways.com” (Business Traveler)
Link: Business Traveler
Aviation Travel Writer: The Flight Times Blog