by Raul Villaron – Vice President Sales & Marketing Asia Pacific at Embraer
Bamboo Airways has two E195s on wet lease from Great Dane Airlines of Aalborg, Denmark. The big, 118-seat E-Jets will initially fly twice daily between Con Dao Airport and Hanoi. Con Dao, on Con Son Island off the country’s south coast, is growing in popularity as a tourist destination. Bamboo Airways is also using the E195s to link Hanoi with daily nonstops to Hai Phong and Vinh.
The arrival of the E195s is ideally timed to support the increasing relevance of domestic air travel. The number of foreign visitors dropped abruptly when international travel restrictions were imposed earlier this year. Right-sized aircraft, like the E195, are helping airlines recover from lower passenger demand, especially in countries that have a sizable domestic network.
Vietnam has weathered the pandemic remarkably well compared to other countries. That success is reflected in renewed interest in regional air travel as residents start exploring their own country. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently launched a campaign to stimulate domestic tourism to places like Con Son Island.
The E195 is ideally suited for Con Dao’s 1,830 meter (6,000 ft) single runway. Because of the field’s length and weight bearing capability, operations were, until now, limited to turboprops. The light weight of the E195, compared to larger narrow-body jets, allows it to fly to/from Con Dao without limitations. The airplane opens up a whole new category of nonstop flights to develop markets with low traffic volume and high growth potential.
The E195 also fills a capacity gap. Bamboo Airways’ E-Jets fit nicely between turboprops and large narrow bodies which dominate national airline fleets. They can serve routes beyond the operating capability of turboprops and with load factors that would be uneconomical on larger aircraft.
Bamboo Airways is the first Vietnamese airline to fly Embraer E-Jets. Alliance Airlines of Australia and Myanmar Airways International will also be adding E-Jets to their fleets soon.