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Bamboo halts long-haul flights

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HO CHI Minh City, 25 October 2023: Bamboo Airways long-haul flights to Frankfurt, London, Sydney, and Melbourne are off the grid as far as booking flights on the Vietnamese airline’s website and independent booking sites since earlier this week.

Flights using Boeing Dreamliners 787s ended this week, and based on the airline’s announcement, the priority is restructuring the route network to concentrate on domestic and regional flights in Asia.

Bamboo Airways’ new general director Luong Hoai Nam (middle), was officially named CEO to lead the restructuring effort earlier this week. He receives flowers and an appointment contract from Bamboo Airways chairman Le Thai Sam (right) and Standing Vice Chairman Phan Dinh Tue (left).

Flights will continue operating to domestic and regional destinations from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang.

In a statement issued on Monday, the airline’s top management noted: “The carrier’s fleet structure is expected to incorporate narrowbody aircraft and jets, which will be deployed on key domestic routes, strongly emphasising trunk routes such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang. The airline will also offer services on domestic tourist routes with high demand and international routes to Southeast Asia.”

The airline explained the restructuring plan and appointed a new CEO earlier this week, noting it was restructuring and suspending long-haul international flights due to low passenger demand.

While saying very little about pulling the plug on long-haul flights to Europe and Australia, the airline did issue a press statement confirming it had appointed Luong Hoai Nam as General Director, effective 23 October 2023. 

Luong Hoai Nam has a doctorate in Aviation with over 30 years of experience in the aviation-tourism industry. He has held numerous senior management and executive roles, including Director of the Market Planning Department and Editor-in-Chief of Heritage Magazine at Vietnam Airlines, CEO of Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Deputy General Director of Nam Long Group, CEO of Hai Au Aviation Joint Stock Company, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Tourism Association, and Deputy General Director of Vietstar Multirole Airlines.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, General Director Luong Hoai Nam expressed confidence that Bamboo Airways’ restructuring process would succeed through the cooperation of all the investors, directors, and employees.

“The process of restructuring Bamboo Airways has been taking place with a clear and focused direction. This is the most extensive, strategic, and far-reaching restructuring project ever undertaken in Vietnamese aviation history. As the General Director, I am determined to give my best effort to complete the assigned tasks and contribute towards the prompt restructuring process. Our ultimate goal is stabilising the operations and creating opportunities for future growth. Among our first targets is to bring back the fleet size to 30 aircraft and then aim to increase to 50 and beyond,” said Luong Hoai Nam.

He concluded that Bamboo Airways would chart a new, suitable course for its operations in late 2023 and early 2024. 

“The carrier’s fleet structure is expected to incorporate narrowbody aircraft and jets, which will be deployed on key domestic routes, strongly emphasising trunk routes such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang. We will also offer services on high-demand domestic tourist and international routes to Southeast Asia.”

Bamboo has a fleet of 29 aircraft, including two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners operating long-haul routes and A320s and Embraer E190s for domestic and regional routes in Southeast Asia.

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