Vietnamese start-up carrier Bamboo Airways plans to launch direct flights to the United States using a leased Airbus A380 superjumbo, the Financial Times reports.
Trinh Van Quyet, chairman and chief executive of FLC, the Hanoi-based real estate and resorts group that owns Bamboo Airways, told the newspaper that Bamboo has applied to the US aviation authorities for permission to fly the route and is now pinning down details of the non-stop flight.
“We will start in the first quarter of 2020 if we get permission by the end of this year,” he told the newspaper.
Quyet added that Bamboo Airways is considering flying to either Los Angeles or San Francisco in 2020, but has yet to decide whether the flight would depart from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.
Business Traveller Asia-Pacific reported in February that Bamboo Airways had recently firmed up an order for 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
The airline had its inaugural flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on January 16.
“Launching a first route into the US internationally is a challenge for any existing carrier, but it is more difficult for the newer ones,” David Yu, adjunct professor of finance at New York University Shanghai who specialises in aviation, tells Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.
Yu added: “Not only are there logistical challenges, but adding a large aircraft with significant capacity like this instance requires carefully thought out planning. A success here will show that there are other routes for larger aircraft and also build steam for Bamboo in their fast growth plans.”
Vietnam’s flag carrier Vietnam Airlines also has ambitions to fly to the US.