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​Vietnam's Bamboo Airways first flight may take off only by year-end

Friday, October 12, 2018, 08:49 GMT+7

HANOI, Oct 10 - Fledgling Vietnamese carrier Bamboo Airways failed to launch its first flight on Wednesday as it had not obtained the required licence from the government, an aviation official said.

The airline, a unit of FLC Group, had said in July that it would launch its maiden flight on October 10 to join the country’s fast-growing aviation industry dominated by Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Aviation.

“(Bamboo Airways) can’t start its operations until it gets the (aviation) licence from the Ministry of Transport,” Vo Huy Cuong, Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam told Reuters on Wednesday.

Bamboo Airways signed a provisional deal to buy 20 Boeing 787-9 wide-body jets worth $5.6 billion at list prices in July as well as a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for up to 24 A320neo narrow-bodies in March.

Calls to Bamboo Airways chief executive officer Dang Tat Thang and the company’s office went unanswered.

Cuong said Bamboo Airways meets all required conditions for the licence, adding that it is now waiting for the final approval from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

“We don’t see any problems with the company’s application for the licence,” Cuong said, adding that it was not clear when it will be issued.

Local media quoted Thang as saying on Tuesday that Bamboo Airways would start operations at the end of this year.

“Basically, all final preparations for the airlines’ first flight at the end of the fourth quarter have been completed,” Thang was cited as saying on Dan Viet online newspaper.

If licensed, Bamboo Airways would become Vietnam’s fifth airlines after Vietnam Airlines, budget operator Jetstar Pacific Airlines, budget carrier Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co.

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