Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways expects to buy 12 Boeing 777X jumbo jets in the second quarter in what would be a multi-billion-dollar boost for the US plane-maker after it failed to win a single order for any of its aircraft in January. A deal that size would be valued at almost $5 billion based on market prices.

Bamboo Airways, which only started operating a year ago, plans to expand its fleet to 30 aircraft this quarter and to 50 by the end of the year. The company currently operates Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A321neos and A320s. Its first European route Hanoi to Prague is scheduled to start on March 29.

Boeing’s long-range, widebody 777x is capable of flying more than 400 passengers in a two-class configuration and will be critical for the company as it continues to battle with the grounding of its best-selling 737 Max. After an initial flurry of orders for the 777x, the pipeline started to dry up. January was the second month of no deals for Boeing since the 737 Max flying ban began in March following two deadly crashes.This planned order for 12 B777X is a welcome booster to the books of the aircraft manufacturer coming at a time when it’s main rival Airbus recently announced the A350 aircraft already achieving it’s break even numbers within a short period of production.

Boeing forecasts that Southeast Asia will need 4,500 new aircraft worth $710 billion over the next two decades. At the Singapore Airshow last week, senior sales executive Ihssane Mounir said the company was in discussions with customers for widebody jets and that orders were expected soon.

Bamboo Airways is owned by FLC Group and it is gradually positioning itself into becoming an airline of choice not just in South East Asia but beyond. Vietnam is one of the the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world, welcoming hundreds of thousands of tourist and visitors yearly.

Picture credit: Boeing.

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