Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s new carrier Bamboo Airways is planning to open a direct route to Australia in a move to complete its flight network and boost economic and social relations between the two countries.

Bamboo Airways plan to open Vietnam-Australia direct flight hinh anh 1An airplane of Bamboo Airways (Photo: VietnamPlus)

This is the outcome of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the Melbourne International Airport (Australia) which was signed in Melbourne on November 26.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, who is on a working visit to Australia, witnessed the signing of the deal.

Under the terms of the deal on building the Hanoi-Melbourne direct route, the Melbourne airport will offer cost incentives in land services, flight guidance and representative office operation as well as marketing and advertising activities.

In addition, the Melbourne International Airport also pledged to provide the best possible conditions to ensure flight safety and security when the direct air route is launched. The updated information about aviation and tourism projects between Vietnam and Australia will be regularly exchanged and provided.

“We highly evaluate Bamboo Airways’ plan and stand ready to deploy the cooperation programme and support the operation of the Hanoi-Melbourne flight,” said General Director of the Melbourne International Airport Lyell Strambi.

This is the first time a Vietnamese airline looks to open direct flights between the Vietnamese capital and Melbourne, which is expected to further boost the cooperation and trade between the two countries.

A direct service between Vietnam’s southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne served around 259,000 travellers last year, and 208,000 in the first nine months of 2019, a 7.7 percent increase on a yearly basis. This shows the potential of direct air services between Vietnam and Australia.

With this potential, Bamboo Airways plans to use Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, a wide-body aircraft which is scheduled to be delivered to the airline in the fourth quarter of 2019, on the Hanoi-Melbourne route.

At the signing ceremony, Standing Vice President of Bamboo Airways Dang Tat Thang said the airline wants to expand its flight network to Australia due to the market’s potential. Vietnam and Australia entered a strategic partnership in March last year, and the Vietnamese community in Australia has now numbered nearly half a million, while there are only a few direct routes between the two countries.

Bamboo Airways plan to open Vietnam-Australia direct flight hinh anh 2Bamboo Airways and Melbourne International Airport sign a MoU on the opening of Hanoi-Melbourne direct flight (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Bamboo Airways hopes to launch the Hanoi-Melbourne service in the second quarter of 2020. The route is said to be the prerequisite for the airline to open more direct flights to other destinations in Australia in the future.
The same day, Bamboo Airways inked another memorandum of understanding on cooperation with the RMIT University – one of the leading centres for pilot training and aviation technology in Australia.

The pact opens up bilateral cooperation opportunities in the fields of aviation, aerospace and education management. The prioritized spheres of cooperation include pilot training for commercial purpose, aviation management and airplane engineers.

Standing Vice President of Bamboo Airways Dang Tat Thang said taking the initiative in human resources is one of the important conditions for Bamboo Airways to develop into a five-star airline. 

Thang also voiced his belief that RMIT would become a reliable partner in training and improving its professional staff meeting international standards.

Earlier, Bamboo Airways officially welcomed two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from its partner GE Capital Aviation Service (GECAS) in Singapore.

The delivery is part of a long-term cooperation agreement between Boeing, GECAS and Bamboo Airways. Bamboo Airways plans to add more aircraft Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to its fleet in 2020.

Along with wide-body planes, GECAS will continue to provide Bamboo Airways with two more Airbus A321neo, which are manufactured in Hamburg, Germany.

Bamboo Airways signed an agreement to purchase 30 wide-body aircraft Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner worth 5.6 billion USD. By the end of 2019, the airline's fleet will reach 30 aircraft, and is expected to grow to 100 by 2024.

Bamboo Airways currently operates 28 domestic and international routes, and is hoped to provide service on 37-40 routes by the end of 2019, including regular international routes to the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China) and other countries in Southeast Asia.

So far, the airline has conducted more than 14,000 safe flights with an average occupancy rate of 90 percent, and the on-time rate of 93.9 percent./.