The Asian aviation industry is perhaps the most intriguing geography in terms of contrast, conundrums and contingencies. While the East Asian market is struggling to stay afloat amidst the coronavirus epidemic, the Southeast market is undergoing a paradigm shift in growth rate, tourism and business outlook. Recently, Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways has expressed interest in ordering twelve Boeing 777x aircraft. Just a couple months earlier, Bamboo Airlines also expressed their plans for procuring thirty Boeing 787-9s and fifty Airbus A321neos.
The airline started their operations a little over a year ago. With the sophisticated and efficient A321neo, 787-9 and now, the 777x about to join the paraphernalia, it is clear that the airline has some serious growth aspirations. Bamboo targets expansion plans to Europe and further to United States later this year. The airline’s Chairman Trinh Van Quyet stated on February 18, 2020, that he expects to place a 12 aircraft order for the 777x by mid-year.
They will likely have to wait a fair while to receive their first 777x, as quite a queue has already formed for when deliveries commence. As of date, neither the specific models nor the delivery dates are clearly known. The contract, valued at around $5 billion at list price, would be good news for Boeing as well, as they did not receive any orders in January 2020.
In June 2019, Bamboo also floated the idea of using the Airbus A380 to commence flights to the United States. This was made possible by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) decision to grant Vietnam a Category 1 rating, thereby, allowing the nation’s carriers to fly to the U.S. and codeshare with local carriers. However, there is not such a strong (and consistent) demand from Southeast Asia to the U.S., and the airline will find it easier to sell slightly fewer seats, which makes the Boeing 777x a more fuel-efficient and profitable option than the Airbus A380.
Amidst the struggling aviation market in East Asia, the story of Bamboo Airways is a breath of fresh air; we wish them nothing but the best! What are your thoughts on the rambunctious expansion plans of Bamboo? Let us know in the comments!