Bamboo Airways to launch Taoyuan-Halong Bay flights

Bamboo Airways has received a certificate that allows it to operate aircraft. Photo. (Courtesy of FLC)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Bamboo Airways, a new Vietnamese carrier that started operating in January, will launch direct flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and the popular tourist destination of Halong Bay in Vietnam June 29, via the country’s new Van Don International Airport.

Bamboo Airways, Vietnam’s fifth airline, said May 15 that it will offer round-trip flights every five days between the two destinations.

Van Don International Airport, Vietnam’s first privately owned airport that was inaugurated last December, is only 50 kilometers from Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the airline said.

The flights will be the first to be accommodated by the airport, which is a 4E-class airport, meaning that it can handle large aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350.

Bamboo Airways said it also expects to service other routes to neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea by 2022.

The carrier said it also plans to extend its flights from Vietnam to Taiwan and onward to the United States in the future.

The airline said it is aiming at offering flights on up to 40 domestic and international routes, increasing the frequency of daily flights to 100 per day, and serving 5 million passengers this year alone.

Vietnam’s four other airlines are flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, budget operator Jetstar Pacific Airlines — which is partly owned by Vietnam Airlines — budget carrier Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co.

Flights between Taiwan and Vietnam are on the increase, from about 100 flights per week at the beginning of 2016 compared with more than 350 flights per week at the current stage.

By Lee Hsin-Yin