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Bamboo Airways overtakes Vietnam Airlines in cross-country flight count during country’s busiest travel week



Reports of Bamboo Airways, a three-year-old aviation firm, operating more flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City than veteran air carrier Vietnam Airlines during Vietnam’s busiest travel week have shocked travel experts from across the country.

According to flight data, Vietnam Airlines made just 113 trips between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City during the one-week span from February 8 to 14, which coincided with the 2021 Lunar New Year holiday.

Comparatively, Bamboo Airways made 130 trips on the same route.

Flights between Vietnam’s two largest cities are considered critical to airline success given consistent demand and high profits.

Still, more flights do not necessarily mean more success.

More data related to how many seats were sold aboard each flight and how each carrier fared on its other routes is needed in order to truly judge who came out on top during the holiday season.

What the numbers do show, however, is the intensifying competition between Vietnam’s homegrown airlines, particularly as COVID-19 continues to keep thousands of passengers grounded.

According to a report on Vietnam’s aviation industry released in January, domestic airlines collectively operated 19,295 flights, with Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet each accounting for 6,000-7,000 departures, or twice as many as Bamboo Airways’.

Meanwhile, three-year-old Bamboo Airways seems to be gradually winning passengers’ hearts thanks to its high service quality.

As international operations remain in hibernation, the country’s six carriers – Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, Vietravel Airlines, and VASCO – are each scrambling for ways to convince travelers that they offer the best product, including setting prices as low as VND85,460 ($3.7) for the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City route.

Customers’ gain

Similar to Vietjet’s recent success, the surge of customers flocking to Bamboo Airways reflects the significant role played by private airlines in Vietnam in an industrial landscape long dominated by national carrier Vietnam Airlines.

Not only beaten by Vietjet in the domestic flight category, Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary VASCO are also facing tough competition from Bamboo Airways on the Ho Chi Minh City – Con Dao or Rach Gia – Ca Mau routes.

Under the shadow of the current COVID-19 crisis, Vietnam Airlines is the only domestic carrier to benefit from the government’s bailout package after it reported a VND14 trillion ($610 million) loss in 2020.

Meanwhile, Vietjet and Bamboo are pulling themselves by the bootstraps to negotiate debt rescheduling and the sale of assets, which in turn have helped them post profits of VND70 billion ($3 million) and VND400 billion ($17.4 million), respectively, in 2020.

According to experts, Bamboo’s success over Vietnam Airlines on one route during one week cannot be used to reflect the entire industry, considering the aviation sector tends to reward those who achieve optimal cost management, sound ticket pricing, and decent customer service over an extended period of time.

During the current travel slump, experts recommended that the government maintain fair competition in terms of policy and bailout programs in order to ensure customers’ gain and avoid reinstating a monopoly in aviation.

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Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways plans to raise $200 million in U.S. IPO: chairman



HANOI — Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways plans to raise up to $200 million in an initial public offering in the United States, potentially securing a market capitalisation of up to $4 billion, its chairman Trinh Van Quyet said on Wednesday.

Bamboo Airways, owned by property and leisure company FLC Group, plans to offer a 5%-7% stake in the IPO, which it expects in the third quarter of this year, Quyet told Reuters in an interview.

“The IPO will be part of our efforts to expand our services globally,” Quyet said, adding that Bamboo Airways has been working with an international auditing firm for the potential offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company said last month it planned to list its shares on a local stock exchange in the third quarter, but Quyet said on Wednesday that was now “a backup plan, depending on market conditions”.

Quyet said the airline will increase its fleet to 40 aircraft by the end of this year, from the current 30, adding two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners would be among the new planes.

He said the airline wanted to launch flights to new destinations including the U.S., Australia, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom this year if the COVID-19 pandemic situation improved.

“We will start conducting chartered flights to the U.S. in July and target the launch of non-stop commercial flights between Ho Chi Minh City and San Francisco in September, with an initial frequency of three flights per week,” Quyet said.

Bamboo Airways, which made its maiden flight in January 2019, is targeting a 25% rise in pretax profit to 500 billion dong this year he added.


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Efforts to stimulate domestic consumer market continue as pandemic threatens exports



Consumers shop at Co.opmart supermarket on HCM City’s Nguyễn Đình Chiểu street. Cities and provinces across the country are seeking ways to promote domestic consumption of goods and services. VNA/ Photo Mỹ Phương

HCM CITY – Many provinces and cities have launched programmes this year to promote local consumer demand to support businesses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect exports.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will organise conferences to connect producers, suppliers and retailers, and events for producers and traders, especially small traders, to help take goods to residential areas, industrial parks and rural and mountainous regions, the Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper reported.

It will help encourage consumption by fostering the evening economy and holding fairs and exhibitions of products and services. It continues to implement the ‘Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods’ programme.

It will also promote the adoption of IT and foster e-commerce.

The Hà Nội Department of Industry and Trade will organise five Vietnamese Goods Weeks this year to stimulate demand.

To be held in the districts of Hà Đông, Hai Bà Trưng, Nam Từ Liêm, Quốc Oai, and Ba Vì, they will have around 100 standard booths each.

Companies and co-operatives will exhibit food products, textiles, footwear, consumer goods from One Product One Commune programmes from Hà Nội and other cities and provinces.

The department will subsidise booth costs by 50 per cent.

The city will also support localities and businesses in Hà Nội and elsewhere in selling agricultural and aquatic produce that face difficulties in selling due to the pandemic.

It will strengthen communications and promotions, create the best conditions for businesses to reach consumers and expand their market.

Products displayed and sold at the events will all be Vietnamese products with quality, food safety and traceability guaranteed.

To effectively implement the programme, the department has called on people’s committees of districts and towns to review all businesses and co-operatives to participate in the 2021 Vietnamese Goods Week of Hà Nội, especially agricultural produce that are difficult to sell and the One Product One Commune programme.

According to the newspaper, the Cần Thơ City Department of Industry and Trade also plans to organise a promotional month programme, possibly from April 10 to May 10.

It will seek the participation of businesses, supermarkets, commercial centers, convenience stores, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues.

HCM City plans to focus on digitisation of industry and promotion of domestic tourism.

Deputy director of the city Department of Tourism, Bùi Thị Ngọc Hiếu, said her agency is stepping up digitisation, and the sector would continue its efforts to boost domestic tourism to drive the recovery of the industry.

Tourism co-operation and linkages between HCM City and the north-east, north-west and the central regions would also serve to boost domestic travel, she added. –




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​Bamboo Airways plans US IPO in Q3



​Bamboo Airways plans US IPO in Q3

A Bamboo Airways aircraft lands at Da Nang International Airport in March. Photo by Shutterstock/Jeffry Surianto.

Private carrier Bamboo Airways is considering an initial public offering of shares in the U.S. this year to raise $200 million.

The IPO is expected to take place in the third quarter, with the company likely to offer a 5-7 percent stake to secure a market capitalization of up to $4 billion, Reuters quoted its chairman, Trinh Van Quyet, as saying on Wednesday.

It is preparing for the issuance together with an international auditing firm and plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Last month, Quyet had announced the airlines plans to list 105 million shares on either the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange or Hanoi Stock Exchange at an initial price of VND60,000 ($2.61), but on Wednesday he said that has now become “a backup plan”.

“The US IPO will be part of our efforts to expand our services globally.”

It expected to operate charter flights to the U.S. from July this year and thrice-weekly commercial flights from HCMC to San Francisco from September.

The airline has received a permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation to carry passengers and cargo to that country.

This year it also plans to expand its fleet from 30 aircraft to 40, and launch flights to other new destinations like Australia, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. if the Covid-19 pandemic is under control.

It currently flies on 60 domestic routes.

Last year, it carried over seven million passengers to account for a 20 percent market share, and hopes to increase it to 30 percent this year.


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