Bamboo Airways to fly between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s newest international airline is headed to Australia.

By David Flynn, December 17 2021
Bamboo Airways to fly between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City

Bamboo Airways will begin non-stop flights between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City – commonly and formerly officially known as Saigon – in April 2022.

It's the Vietnamese carrier's first scheduled service in Australian skies and follows a series of chartered repatriation flights between Melbourne and Hanoi across 2020.

Bamboo Airways, which launched only in 2019, still hopes to begin regular services linking Melbourne to the Vietnamese capital, which serves as the country's political and cultural centre.

However, Ho Chi Minh City is seen as a stronger drawcard for Bamboo's debut, being the nation's commercial hub and a primary destination for business and tourism alike.

Bamboo Airways will initially schedule two flights per week from April 1, with the option of growing to four per week later in the year, on a Boeing 787-9.

The Dreamliner's business class is based upon the same Collins ‘Super Diamond’ platform which Australian travellers would recognise from the likes of Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Signature ClassFiji Airways’ A350 business class, and of course, Virgin Australia’s now-defunct ‘The Business’ cabin.

Serving as a suitable workspace for daytime flying, the seat transforms into a fully-flat bed after hours so high flyers can stretch out and relax.

There's also a premium economy cabin with  comfortable recliners in a 2-3-2 layout, as shown below, with economy seats further back.

Bamboo Airways is not part of any of the 'big three' airline alliances, but membership of its Bamboo Club loyalty program delivers a set of priority perks with Gold status plus lounge access, complimentary upgrades and a more generous checked baggage allowance at the Diamond and First tiers.

"Before the pandemic Vietnam was one of our most popular overseas leisure destinations, and we have no doubt that Bamboo Airways will be embraced by Victorian travellers," said Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Lorie Argus.

"Attracting international carriers and new destinations is key as we rebuild from Covid-19 and every new airline sends a clear message to the world that Melbourne is open and ready to welcome visitors once more."

Bamboo Airways is not only the first new overseas carrier to appear on Melbourne Airport's arrivals board since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will also make Melbourne its Australian headquarters.

"We expect the upcoming regular nonstop Vietnam–Australia route of Bamboo Airways will help maximize passengers' benefits when traveling between the two countries while making a substantial contribution to the promotion of bilateral cooperation in economy, culture, and people-to-people exchange," says Nguyen Manh Quan, Executive Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways.

Prior to Covid-19, Bamboo Airways’ rival Vietnam Airlines and Qantas' low-cost arm Jetstar connected Melbourne with Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, while Vietnam Airlines ran direct Sydney-Hanoi flights on its own Boeing 787.