Bamboo Airways launched its long-delayed maiden commercial flight on Wednesday to become the fifth Vietnamese airline, heightening competition in the aviation sector of the Southeast Asian nation which is emerging as a popular tourist destination. The inaugural flight of the start-up airline, owned by property and leisure firm FLC Group, landed at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Intl airport at 0830 local time after taking off from Ho Chi Minh City, Bamboo Airways said in a statement. It carried 180 passengers and five crew members. The flight, which came after the launch date was postponed twice, would be welcome news for planemakers Boeing and Airbus, adding a measure of certainty to the airline’s orderbook. Bamboo Airways signed a provisional deal in July to buy 20 Boeing 787-9 wide-body jets worth $5.6 billion at list prices, and a memorandum of understanding in March with Airbus for up to 24 A320neo narrow-bodied aircraft. The launch, though, comes at a time aviation competition in the country is heating up and its aviation infrastructure is getting overloaded. Other local airlines operating are Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co. Budget airlines Vietjet, which operates 60 Airbus jets, has quickly become the… Read full this story
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