By Alan Dron, ATW
Vietnamese startup Bamboo Airways has placed a tentative order for up to 24 Airbus A321neos.
The carrier's parent company, Vietnamese conglomerate FLC Group, signed an MOU for the aircraft in Paris on March 26 during the official visit to France of the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Nguyễn Phú Trọng.
Bamboo Airways plans to start operations in 2019 with leased aircraft before taking delivery of its new A321neos. The new airline will focus on linking international markets to Vietnamese leisure destinations, as well as on selected domestic routes.
"After evaluating carefully the competing products, FLC Group and Bamboo Airways have selected the A321neo as the most efficient option for our new operation," FLC Group chairman Trinh Van Quyet said. Last week, national carrier Vietnam Airlines announced it would start receiving a large batch of A321neos later this year.
"This decision once again underscores the position of the A321 as the aircraft of choice in the mid-market segment with its additional capacity and the very lowest operating cost," Airbus CCO Eric Shulz said. With Vietnam one of the most vibrant economies in southeast Asia the aircraft will help "to develop the air transport system in this fast-growing market."
FLC Group is one of Vietnam's largest conglomerates with interests ranging from real estate development, hotel construction and management, financial services and mining. Bamboo will serve destinations where FLC Group has heavily invested in tourism infrastructure.