True to its mission of connecting the tourist regions in the S-shaped country of Vietnam as well as meeting the travel needs of Vietnamese nationals wherever they are in the world, Bamboo Airways revealed they are already in discussion with the likes of Air Canada, Virgin Australia, and Japan Airlines on potential interlining pacts in 2023.
Speaking at Routes Asia 2022 currently happening in the coastal city of Da Nang in central Vietnam, Bamboo Airways Commercial Director Pierre Thach Hoang said the airline’s project team will make a decision on which alliance to pursue membership “after getting a clearer picture of the criteria and admission conditions.”
Routes Asia welcomed VPs and Heads of Network Planning from more than 80 of the region’s leading carriers with hopes of rebuilding regional air connectivity and overall recovery. Over 1,500 meetings took place at the event from June 6-8 between airline stakeholders, airports, and destinations.
By definition, an interlining pact is a relationship between airlines that allows one airline sells services to a customer that are provided by another airline. This way, when it happens, Bamboo Airways will be able to sell itineraries that they would otherwise not be able to serve alone.
Pierre also said at the event they’re launching a new 2X-weekly Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)-Frankfurt (FRA) service from June 16, this is an addition to its current Hanoi (HAN)-FRA service. He added their immediate focus is to make the current routes profitable.
“From the beginning of 2022, Bamboo Airways has launched many new international routes, raising the scale of international flights to 11,” the Commercial Director said as posted on Bamboo’s official Facebook page. “Over the next five years, we set a goal of expanding to 100 aircraft, operating 90 international and 80 domestic routes, and transporting an average of 23 million passengers/year.”
“On the regional side, Bamboo operates five leased Embraer E190s. Thach says this "third" fleet has helped Bamboo remain competitive, covering virtually all domestic links — some not covered by its competitors. He said he participated in an E-190 E2 test flight recently and is currently speaking to lessors about bringing in the newer aircraft,” reads the Routes report.
Pierre also called for support from the international embassies to shorten their visa processing times. This is because Vietnamese have to apply for visas when traveling to most countries outside of Southeast Asia, and the current demand has seen backlogs lasting more than one month. Per Pierre, this will help both the travel and tourism industry to recover and also support his fellow Vietnamese.
Finally, he hopes airports can provide startups like Bamboo with permanent slots to help grow their network as the industry returns to the skies.
In September last year, Bamboo made its historic landing at the San Francisco International Airport, marking the Vietnamese airlines’ first Vietnam-US non-stop flight.