Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi Noi Bai International) is planning to commence operations by the end of 2018 the start-up's director general, Dang Tat Thang, has said.

Unveiled earlier this month, Viet Bamboo Airlines Ltd is owned by local Vietnamese conglomerate, FLC Group and has a registered capital of VND700 billion dong (USD31 million).

Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency (CNA) last week, Dang said the carrier would operate flights under the brand "Bamboo Airways". Initially, services will focus on the international leisure market avoiding the country's booming, if increasingly congested, domestic market.

As such, to placate government concerns about increasing congestion at Vietnam's major gateways such as Hanoi Noi Bai International and Ho Chi Minh City, which has thus far proven a significant obstacle to the launch of Vietstar Airlines (Ho Chi Minh City), Dang said Bamboo Airways will operate out of secondary airports.

Flights will focus on bringing tourists to FLC Group resorts at Haiphong and Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province, Thanh Hoa and Qui Nhon in the central Binh Dinh Province, Nha Trang Cam Ranh in Khanh Hoa province, and Phu Quoc in the southern Kien Giang province.

In terms of fleet requirements, Bamboo Airways will operate a leased fleet of seven aircraft. Talks with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) are currently ongoing to source the relevant jets.

In terms of service niche, Bamboo Airways will operate as a boutique carrier offering passengers the option of customizing the onboard experience.