Sydney Airport and Bamboo Airways have announced a new two-weekly service from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh, which will boost tourism and provide a better connection between the two most populous cities in Australia and Vietnam.
The announcement comes two days after Bamboo, Vietnam’s fast-growing airline, launched Hanoi to Frankfurt. They will be joined from Hanoi to London Heathrow and Melbourne at the end of March.
It’s good to see the carrier starting regular services instead of temporary connections related to the pandemic. It’s because Vietnam expects to lift most of the restrictions on international tourists arriving in the country on March 15, while Australia reopened on February 21.
Sydney is coming
According to Bamboo Airways’ booking system, Ho Chi Minh City will start to Sydney on March 29 and return from Down Under on March 30. The 4,246-mile (6,834 km) route will appeal to the large Vietnamese diaspora in Australia’s largest city and Australian tourists visiting what is usually one of the most popular destinations in Asia.
It will operate twice a week, although Sydney Airport has said it will increase to four-weekly, likely subject to meeting performance expectations. The original schedule is as follows, with all times local:
- Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney: QH86, Tuesday & Friday, 6:30pm-7:00am+1
- Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City: QH87, Wednesday & Saturday, 11:30am-4:15pm
Melbourne and Frankfurt start
Bamboo Airways started operating from Hanoi to Frankfurt on February 26 and only operates on Fridays, but that will increase to twice a week from the end of March. It is against two weekly flights with Vietnam Airlines.
It also only has a Saturday connection from Ho Chi Minh City to Melbourne, with Vietnam departing at 1:30 AM and arriving at 2 PM local time. Crew and aircraft will remain in Melbourne, departing at 10:00 AM the following day and returning at 2:20 PM.
The need for planes to stay overnight will disappear as it rises to twice a week from the end of March. It will compete against Vietnam Airlines (quarterly) and Jetstar (quarterly) from April.
More routes to come
Bamboo’s non-stop service between Hanoi and Heathrow starts on Tuesday, March 22, although intriguingly, it will then run once a week on Sundays. It looks like it will increase to twice a week, but the second flight is not bookable yet. Mischievously it advertises a one-way ticket for £99, rising to £320 + when taxes are included – a practice banned from/to the UK years ago.
Bamboo’s service from Hanoi to Melbourne will start on March 28, also once a week. Melbourne has never had Hanoi service, despite being the largest unserved market from Australia to Vietnam in 2019. More importantly, Melbourne was Hanoi’s largest unserved market worldwide that year.
By James Pearson @ simpleflying.com