Passengers between Germany and Vietnam will soon have a new non-stop option. Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways plans to launch service to Munich this summer from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The new routes are the latest in the carrier’s push to expand its international service. The carrier signed an MoU with Munich Airport this morning to launch planning for the service.
The MoU allows combining the strength of facilities and long-term operating experience of Munich Airport, with a rapidly-growing network and 5-star-oriented service of Bamboo Airways, promoting the operation of direct routes connecting Vietnam – Germany, meeting the travel needs of people in the two countries.– Mr. Bui Quang Dung, Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways
A total of three weekly flights are expected, commencing in July 2020. The carrier will fly from Hanoi once weekly and from HCMC twice weekly. The Munich routes follow Prague as the carrier’s first European destination. That service is slated to launch at the end of March 2020.
Speaking to the new partnership, Mr. Andreas von Puttkamer, Senior Vice President Aviation Flughafen München GmbH (Munich Airport), notes that “The new connections to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will give us direct access to this important future market for the first time. This is the excellent response to the steadily
growing interest in Vietnam as a travel destination.”
The route aims to take advantage of both business and leisure demand. Germany is the largest EU trading partner with Vietnam and also one of the largest sources of tourists to the country. An EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement took effect in January 2020 and is expected to further boost economic investments and trade.
The leisure/VFR side of the market also shows strong potential demand. Nearly a quarter million guests from Germany visited the country in 2019 according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Moreover, Germany is home to approximately 176,000 Vietnamese nationals.
Bamboo Airways will serve the route with its 787-9 Dreamliner. Mr. von Puttkamer suggests the aircraft is “environmentally friendly” and “aircraft is a perfect fit for Munich Airport’s climate strategy.”
Bamboo Airways can offer onward connections within South East Asia and indicates that it is not yet done with its expansion into Europe. Deputy General Director Mr. Bui Quang Dung notes that other countries are still in the works for a Q2/Q3 2020 launch.
Announcing major international expansion as the aviation industry grapples with collapsing demand tied to the COVID-19 health concerns is a challenging situation for the carrier. While demand is expected to bounce back quickly once health concerns abate the timing on that remains unclear. But Bamboo is not alone on that front. India’s Vistara is also launching service to Europe in the coming months, hoping that the market has recovered by then.