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Vietnamese startup just ordered 20 Dreamliners

The name Bamboo Airways may not mean a great deal to many travellers just yet, but this Vietnamese startup carrier has ambitions to soon enter the international long-haul market having firmed a US$5.6 billion order for 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft earlier this week.

The new airline completed its deposit requirement for the aircraft in mid-June and expects to receive them starting in April 2020 through 2021.

“We are excited to introduce these new 787 Dreamliners into our fleet as we prepare to launch long-haul operations to international markets,” said Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of Bamboo Airways owner, the FLC Group.

“Our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam to key markets within Asia, Europe and North America and the capabilities of these new state-of-the-art Dreamliners will help us achieve our goals. The 787’s superior economics and efficiency, as well as the passenger pleasing interior of the Dreamliner will allow us to successfully grow our business while enabling us to better serve our customers.”

These likely won’t be Bamboo Airways’ first aircraft, however. The startup carrier aims to begin operations in 2019, before it takes delivery of the Dreamliners, with flights out of Hanoi to destinations within Vietnam. Its network is then set to expand to encompass Northeast Asian markets including China, South Korea and Japan.

In March this year, FLC Group placed an order with Airbus for up to 24 A321neo aircraft that will be operated by Bamboo Airways, and while a delivery date for these aircraft has yet to be announced it seems likely these A321neos will be making those initial flights next year.

Bamboo Airways has yet to provide details regarding how it will configure its Dreamliners, though it has previously confirmed its A321neos will have both business class and economy seating.

The airline describes itself as a “hybrid” airline, offering low costs with full service.

Rival Vietnamese carrier and Skyteam alliance member, Vietnam Airlines, also operates the Dreamliner, as well as the predecessor to the A321neo, the A321.

By Craig Bright