By Will Lee
Bamboo Airways Reveals Flights To Australia
Bamboo Airways — the Vietnamese airline — is expecting to launch a direct service from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Melbourne, Australia on Apr. 1. The brand-new route is subject to regulatory approval.
The direct service will be operated by Boeing 787-9, and the flight time will be eight hours to arrive at the destination. In the early phase, Bamboo Airways will provide two times a week services and potential increase frequencies to four times a week later in the year.
“We expect the upcoming regular non-stop Vietnam – Australia route of Bamboo Airways will help maximize passenger’s benefits when traveling between two countries,” Executive Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways, Nguyen Manh Quan said.
During the pandemic, Bamboo Airways hasn’t stopped expanding its business. Earlier this year, San Francisco Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to launch flights between Vietnam and United States, following Bamboo Airways’ test flight had arrived in San Francisco. Bamboo Airways will become the first new foreign airline to serve Melbourne, Australia’s Tullamarine Airport since the pandemic began. In addition, the airline has chosen Melbourne to be its base in Australia, ignoring another city, such as Sydney.
Lorie Argus — Tullamarine Airport’s Chief of Aviation — acknowledged Bamboo Airways’ decision for choosing Melbourne to be its Australian base.
“Adding a new airline in the midst of a global pandemic is a testament to the strength of Melbourne’s tourism appeal, and our airport’s ability to handle passengers safely,” Argus added.
Vietnam was one of the tourist hotspots that were popular among Australians before the pandemic. Vietnam National Administration of Tourism revealed that over 383,000 Australian tourists to Vietnam in 2019. Meanwhile, Australia has the largest Vietnamese community in the world outside Vietnam, with more than 300,000 Vietnamese living in the country and 36% migrants living in Melbourne.
Argus expected the direct flight will be more popular in the future due to the Covid testing rules. According to the media, the demand of tickets is soaring even months away from launching the new route.
In the meantime, Tullamarine Airport is seeing a recovery ahead of Christmas. According to the airport, the airport recorded over 50,000 passengers on Dec. 17, the number of passengers is almost higher than an entire month’s capacity during the pandemic. Tullamarine Airport recorded 50,007 passengers in October, and only 12,400 were international travelers in response to the strict international travel restrictions. Compared to pre-covid, it handled 100,000 passengers per day.
While the airport has been suffering from Covid-19 for more than a year, Tullamarine Airport hasn’t stopped upgrading its facilities. Earlier, the airport has announced it would spend 30 million Australian dollars ($21.4 million) to enhance its Terminal Three, and the construction is expected to be completed by mid-next year. Tullamarine Airport expects the enhancement could welcome back more domestic passengers.