The newest low cost carrier in Vietnam – Bamboo Airways – is not launching on October 10, 2018, as previously planned. According to local media, the carrier was not granted operation permits on time, thus pushing the first flight to the end of 2018.

Bamboo Airways is in a process of finalizing aviation license, which is the last remaining obstacle for it to begin operations, the airline COE Dang Tat Thang is quoted as saying by Vietnamese media Zing.vn. “Basically, all the final stages of preparation for the company's first flight scheduled for the end of the fourth quarter of this year are completed," says Thang.

Unable to start operations until it obtains the license, the startup carrier is now awaiting the final approval from Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Reuters reports. The publication also quotes Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam Vo Huy Cuong saying that airline meets all license requirements and it is unclear what caused the delay. “We don’t see any problems with the company’s application for the licence,” Cuong says.

Bamboo Airways is wholly-owned by Vietnamese multi-industry company FLC Group. In May 2018, the Group signed a $3 billion contract with Airbus for 24 A321neo aircraft, which are expected to be delivered to Bamboo Airlines in the 2022 - 2025 period. In June 2018, the airline and Boeing announced a $5.6 billion (at list prices) deal for 20 787-9 Dreamliners, to be delivered from April 2020 through 2021.

Once launched, Bamboo Airways will be Vietnam’s third low cost carrier, after Jetstar Pacific (70% owned by national carrier Vietnam Airlines) and VietJet – the fifth biggest LCC in Southeast Asia by fleet size. In total, there were 20 LCCs in Southeast Asia as of January 2018, according to CAPA.

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