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Vietnam's Bamboo Airways begins operations

Vietnamese start-up Bamboo Airways began commercial operations on 16 January.

Flight tracking websites indicate that the airline's first flight, QH202, departed from Ho Chi Minh City at 06.31 hours local time and landed in Hanoi at 08.15 hours local time. It also indicates that an Airbus A320 registered TC-FBO was the aircraft that operated the first flight.

A Reuters report indicated that the inaugural flight carried 180 passengers and five crew members, citing a press release it received.

Prior to its launch, Bamboo stated it will operate on a hybrid business model, offering economy and business class cabins on its aircraft. Flights will operate out of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to various domestic points in Vietnam. Subsequently, it is looking to operate international services.

The airline's own booking engine indicates that the initial flights will operate out of Hanoi to seven domestic points, while flights out of Ho Chi Minh City will be linked to Hanoi and Quy Nhon.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that five A320 family jets – one A319 and four A320s – had its leases begun on 15 January. The lease of another A320 will commence on 25 January.

None of the six jets have yet to receive a Vietnamese registration. The A319 is equipped with 128 seats in a two-class configuration, with eight in business class and 120 in economy. Three of the A320s have 180 seats in an all-economy configuration. The remaining two A320s have 159 seats in an all-economy configuration.

In addition, three on-order A320neos managed by CDB Aviation are scheduled to start their leases in October 2019.

The airline also has letters of intent for 24 A321neos and 20 Boeing 787-9s.

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