Vietnam startup carrier Bamboo Airways is eyeing 29 December for its first flight, which would keep with its timeline of starting operations before the end of the year.

The 29 December date was disclosed by parent FLC Group in a statement related to an agreement between it and state-owned companies Petrolimix, Petrolimix Aviation Fuel and Petrolimix Insurance.

Petrolimix Aviation Fuel will support the airline’s fuel, and the insurance arm will be the airline’s preferred insurance provider. In turn, the two units will make Bamboo their preferred provider.

The statement adds that Bamboo will start operations with 10 aircraft, growing to 20 in the first quarter of 2019.

Bamboo Airways received its air transport business licence in early November, but still needs an air operators’ certificate before launching services.

The carrier had planned to start services on 10 October, but this date passed without a launch, apparently owing to holdups with its AOC.

Bamboo's website is not yet selling tickets. As for the route network, the airline plans to link Northeast Asia to FLC resorts in secondary Vietnamese cities such as Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Binh Dinh, Quang Binh, Phu Quoc, and Nha Trang. Eventually it hopes to operate services to Europe and North America.

In a recent interview posted on FLC’s website, Bamboo vice-president and general manager Duong Thi Mai Hoa said the company is closely monitoring its AOC application. She adds that the company has been adding personnel and technical capabilities in preparation for a launch.

She reiterated that the carrier will offer full-service amenities, but be cost competitive with low-cost carriers.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that three aircraft are scheduled to start leases with Bamboo in the coming months - one A319 and two A320s that are listed as stored and managed by Standard Chartered Aviation Finance. The three jets are powered by International Aero Engines V2500 engines.

The airline will also take three A320neos from the orderbook of CDB Aviation, which are expected to enter service from July to November 2019.

In addition, Bamboo has letters of intent for 20 Boeing 787-9s and 24 A321neos.

Source: Cirium Dashboard