By Will Lee
Bamboo Airways Eyes International Route Expansion
Bamboo Airways — a Vietnamese leisure carrier — hasn’t stopped expanding its route map during the pandemic. Recently, the carrier announced the launch for flight operations between Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Sydney on March 30. The new route is subject to government approval. The announcement has come days after launching the new route of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Melbourne, Australia.
“We are thrilled to be the first new international airline at Sydney Airport soon after Australia lifted international travel restrictions,” Dang Tat Thang, CEO of the airline said.
Last week, Australia reopened its international border to fully vaccinated travelers. The airline will provide twice-weekly services and is expecting to increase the frequency to four times a week by the end of this year.
The new route is supported by Government’s Aviation Attraction Fund. In the wake of the pandemic, Australia’s state of New South Wales rolled out the Aviation Attraction Fund — attracting airlines to re-commence flights to Sydney last October. The program is open to all airlines servicing international and domestic routes. NSW government has invested 60 million Australian Dollar in the fund and believed the program could benefit the state after the pandemic.
“Our airports are the gateway to our state, so supporting the return of airlines to them through the Aviation Attraction Fund is key to our recovery roadmap and achieving our goal of making NSW the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific,” Stuart Ayres, Minister for Enterprise, Investment, Trade, Tourism and Sport for Western Sydney said.
Geoff Culbert, CEO of Sydney Airport, has welcomed Bamboo Airways. “Vietnam is an incredibly popular destination for Australian leisure travelers and with a big Vietnamese diaspora in Sydney it makes sense to build greater connectivity between our two cities.”
New South Wales’ government revealed that over 123,000 Vietnam visitors arrived in Australia before the pandemic. According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, more than 383,000 Australian tourists traveled to Vietnam in 2019. Australia has the largest Vietnamese community in the world outside Vietnam.
The carrier will operate this route with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, featuring 26 business class seats, 21 premium economy class and 247 economy class seats. Bamboo Airways is expected to provide 60,000 seats on this route annually.
In the meantime, Bamboo Airways and Sydney Airport signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to stimulate tourism, economic growth and opportunities for cultural exchange between the two cities.
Bamboo Airways is not only focused on the Australian market. Meanwhile, the airline has expanded its network by adding new services to Europe. The route Hanoi, Vietnam to Frankfurt has launched last week. Bamboo Airways provides two flights per week in the early stage and considers increasing its frequency if the demand surges. Also, the airline is looking forward to expanding its route map to other cities in Germany, such as Berlin and Munich.
In addition, the airline is set to launch flights between Hanoi, Vietnam to London in March — hoping to expand to nearly 40 international routes in 2022.