Bamboo Airways orders 10 additional Boeing 787, considers 737 MAX

A Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9. Computer rendering: © Bamboo Airways

Vietnamese start-up airline Bamboo Airways has placed an order for 10 additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The order was signed in Hanoi on Wednesday and was witnessed by Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong and US president Donald Trump.

According to the airline, this purchase of ten Boeing 787-9 adds to Bamboo Airways’ existing commitment for 20 of the same aircraft type, that was signed in June 2018, but is yet to be officially firmed up. The first Boeing 787 are scheduled to be delivered to the carrier in the third quarter of 2020, instead of the second as stated during last year’s commitment.

Furthermore, Bamboo Airways has confirmed that it is considering an order for 25 narrow-body Boeing 737 MAX. More details would be announced once the airline reaches a final agreement with Boeing. Competing low-cost airline VietJet has just increased its order for 737 MAX to 200, this agreement was also signed on Wednesday during president Trump’s visit to Vietnam.

Bamboo Airways stated it plans to fly non-stop between Vietnam and the United States by late-2019 or early-2020.

Vietnam and the U.S. economic and trade relations have seen rapid expansion. Non-stop air routes between the two countries are of essence accordingly. Direct flights between Vietnam and the U.S. will not only push tourism activities which are aimed to draw nearly one million American tourists by 2020, but also further facilitate bilateral trade and investment.Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group

In addition to that, the airline plans to fly non-stop to destinations across Asia, Europe and Australia. International flights will launch in the second quarter of 2019. At the moment, Bamboo Airways only operates 20 domestic connections. It plans to operate between 37 and 40 unique routes by the end of this year.

Our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam with key markets in Asia, Europe and North America and the Dreamliner will enable us to launch these long-haul operations.Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group

Bamboo Airways is owned by Vietnamese property investment and construction company FLC Group. It became the fifth carrier in the South-East Asian country, which has one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, when it launched operations on January 16 this year, after receiving an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV). The airline is joining flag-carrier Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Jetstar Pacific and VASCO (Vietnam Air Services Company).

The carrier’s current fleet consists of one Airbus A319, four A320 and one A321neo. A319 and A320 are temporarily wet-leased aircraft from other airlines in order to launch operations. Bamboo Airways itself has a total of 24 Airbus A321neo on order, with options for 24 more.