Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to buy 10 Boeing planes during US-DPRK summit


Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways will sign a deal with Boeing to purchase 10 planes on the sidelines of this week’s US-North Korea second summit in Hanoi, Reuters reported.


The carrier, which is owned by privately-run conglomerate FLC Group and made its first flights in January, placed a provisional order last year for 20 Boeing 787 widebody jets worth US$5.6 billion at list prices.​

“We will sign with Boeing a deal to buy 10 more Boeing 787s. This is different from the deal signed earlier for 20 Boeing planes,” an airline’s executive was quoted by Reuters as saying.

This brings total order of Bamboo Airways for Boeing planes to 30, which is a firm order valued at nearly US$3 billion, said the executive.

Bamboo is currently operating 10 Airbus planes.

Bamboo is aiming to open routes to the United States after the US Federal Aviation Administration declared Vietnam complied with international aviation standards, in a move that would allow Vietnamese carriers to fly there for the first time and codeshare with US airlines.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold their second summit in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on Feb. 27-28.

Bamboo’s first 787 is set to arrive in the third quarter of 2020 and the airline is preparing to launch flights to the US from late 2019 or early 2020 with leased jets unless Boeing can deliver them earlier, Bamboo’s chairman Trinh Van Quyet had earlier told Reuters.

According to Quyet, direct flights between Vietnam and the US will not only push tourism activities, but also further facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

Rivals Vietnam Airlines JSC and VietJet Aviation JSC also have ambitions to fly to the United States, although the latter carrier has yet to place an order for widebody jets.

VietJet is also expected to sign a major jet deal with Boeing on the sidelines of the Trump-Kim summit, Reuters reported.

The airline is likely to finalize next week a separate provisional deal agreed last year at the Farnborough Airshow to buy another 100 Boeing 737 MAX jets worth almost US$13 billion at list prices.

In addition to Bamboo Airways, Vietnam currently has four airlines, including national carrier Vietnam Airlines, budget operator Jetstar Pacific Airlines (partly owned by Vietnam Airlines), budget carrier Vietjet Aviation, and Vietnam Air Services (VASCO).


Photo: Bamboo Airways