Bamboo Airways, a hybrid carrier launched by Vietnamese construction company FLC Group, has acquired slots to operate regularly scheduled nonstop flights between Vietnam and the United States. The flights would be operated using the long-haul Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
According to Bamboo Airways Chairman Trinh Van Quyet, these USA flights will start in September, COVID-19 permitting, with an initial frequency of three flights per week. This development will help shorten the travel time between the two countries by 15-17 hours, as there are currently no nonstop routes, and passengers still have to transit through Hong Kong, South Korea, or Taiwan.
To fill this market gap, more than 80 aviation companies from Vietnam and the US recently discussed cooperative opportunities at a virtual conference. Participants at the event also included government agencies such as the US Federal Aviation Administration, the US Transportation Security Administration, the US Department of Commerce, the US Trade Development Agency, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), and Airport Corporation of Vietnam (ACV).
The current market potential between Vietnam and the US is at approximately 700,000 passengers per year. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans were among the top foreign visitors to Vietnam, with 687,226 arrivals in 2019.
Founded in 2017, Bamboo Airways is a fast-growing and privately-owned airline. The airline is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States in the third quarter of this year, expecting to raise up to USD 200 million.
(Sources: VNExpress; Aviation Pros)