London LGW welcomes second Vietnam route with Bamboo, but non-stops to Europe remain limited
Europe to Vietnam had 2.8 million two-way passengers in pre-coronavirus 2019. Germany, Russia, France, the UK and the Netherlands were the largest markets. Three-quarters flew with sixth-freedom operators, especially Emirates, Qatar Airways, Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines and Thai Airways. Despite strong non-stop capacity growth until the pandemic, it was – and remains – conspicuously underserved by non-stop or same-plane service.
Bamboo begins second London non-stop
Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways introduced Ho Chi Minh City to London LGW on 7 December. The 6,350-kilometre route operates weekly on Wednesdays, changing to Tuesdays next summer. It coexists with Vietnam Airlines’ 3-weekly to London LHR, which started in March 2015.
Ho Chi Minh City is Bamboo Airways’ second Gatwick route, coexisting with Hanoi, introduced on 29 October and operated weekly. It has indirect competition with Vietnam Airlines’ 4-weekly Hanoi-London LHR.
Vietnam has more Far East destinations from Gatwick than any other country in the region. But it isn’t Bamboo Airways’ first time at serving London. It has simply switched from London LHR, to which it launched regular flights from Hanoi in March 2022.
10 European routes this winter
Analysis of Cirium schedules information data indicates that France, Germany, Turkey and the UK have non-stop scheduled flights from Vietnam. There are 10 routes, with the figures in brackets signifying weekly frequency. With 27 of the 42 weekly flights, Vietnam Airlines is the market leader, then Turkish Airlines (7), Bamboo Airways (5) and Air France (3).
- Hanoi-Frankfurt: Vietnam Airlines (6), Bamboo Airways (2)
- Hanoi-Istanbul: Turkish Airlines (3)
- Hanoi-London LHR: Vietnam Airlines (3)
- Hanoi-London LGW: Bamboo Airways (1)
- Hanoi-Paris CDG: Vietnam Airlines (7)
- Ho Chi Minh City-Frankfurt: Vietnam Airlines (4), Bamboo Airways (1)
- Ho Chi Minh City-Istanbul: Turkish Airlines (4)
- Ho Chi Minh City-London LHR: Vietnam Airlines (4)
- Ho Chi Minh City-London LGW: Bamboo Airways (1)
- Ho Chi Minh City-Paris CDG: Air France (3), Vietnam Airlines (3)
Noticeable by its absence is Russia, previously the largest recipient of non-stop Vietnam flights. In the European area of the vast country, Kazan, Moscow SVO, Moscow VKO, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, St Petersburg, Samara and Ufa were all served in winter 2019. They were connected to four airports in Vietnam: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc, the last two serving resort areas.