Government asked to allow Bamboo Airways’ fleet expansion

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has proposed the Government allow Bamboo Airways to increase its fleet instead of restricting the firm’s aircraft number to 30 like at present.

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An aircraft of Bamboo Airways (Photo: VNA)

In its recent document to the Prime Minister, the MoT cited the Law on Civil Aviation and some related decrees of the Government as regulating that the fleet of a Vietnamese carrier is considered on the basis of market demand, the aviation sector’s development directions, and its minimum capital. 

In particular, an airline with 11 – 30 aircraft must have a minimum capital of 600 billion VND (25.9 million USD), which must be 700 billion VND if it wishes to operate more than 30 planes.

The MoT said these regulations do not limit the number of aircraft of carriers, and they can develop their fleets in accordance with their business purposes and market demand, conditioned that they meet relevant requirements.

Under legal regulations, Bamboo Airways can increase its fleet to more than 30. The specific number will be considered on the basis of aviation safety, security and infrastructure, according to this ministry.

It proposed the PM order the Ministry of Planning and Investment, which had suggested the approval of adjustments to the Bamboo Airways air transport project in the past, to consider revision to the fleet size of this carrier.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) had asked the MoT for removing the cap on Bamboo Airways’ fleet, adding that other carriers like Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific are all allowed to operate with an unrestricted number of aircraft.

Bamboo Airways, which launched the first commercial flight in January 2019, is operating 41 domestic and international routes.

The company aims to gain a 30-percent share in Vietnam’s aviation market and expand its flight network to 85 routes this year, including 60 domestic and 25 international ones.

As of late January 2020, it had operated more than 20,000 flights with nearly 3 million passengers and the on-time performance of 94.1 percent – highest among Vietnamese carriers in 2019.

The firm is planning to expand its fleet to 50 by the end of 2020.

VNA