Bamboo snips Australia from the network

The proliferation of services between Australia and Vietnam has seen at least one carrier forced to change course. Adam Bishop reports.

A restructure of operations at Bamboo Airways has seen all its long-haul flights dropped and Australian office shut down.

The carrier said in a brief statement to the market that the changes were needed to improve efficiency and cut down on costs, thinly-veiled airline speak for our model isn’t working.

In line with the decision, Bamboo’s fleet now consists of six A320, five A320neos, four A321s, one A321neo, two B787-9s, and four ERJ190s, with all remaining long-haul planes returned to lessors in recent days.

While the business model had pitched itself as bringing a service-driven service on a budget to the Australian market, it appears the niche was not enough to sustain operations – especially with the added pressure from rival low-cost carrier VietJet, which has made plenty of waves in Australia and launched a flurry of new Aussie routes in recent months.

The upshot has seen the Aussie office in Melbourne headed up by National Sales Manager Brad Crawford closed suddenly, with all staff made redundant.

Bamboo flights to Sydney and Melbourne will cease on 05 November, as well as services to Frankfurt in Germany, with the move following the discontinuation of weekly Melbourne-Hanoi and Hanoi-London Gatwick services.

The news is also bad timing for aviation industry veteran Graham Ware, who only made his return to the travel sector with the Vietnamese carrier in February of this year.

Before the abrupt shutdown of operations, Ware was Bamboo’s NSW/ACT Sales Manager, working alongside National Sales Manager Brad Crawford to promote the airline’s offerings to the trade and corporate partners.

He is well known to the industry through former roles with South African Airways, Lufthansa and KLM.


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