Vietnam-based Bamboo Airways has announced that it’s charting a new course and restructuring its operations. As part of the restructuring, Bamboo Airways has decided to end its long-haul flights, and will focus on domestic routes and short-haul flights within South East Asia instead.
As a reminder, Bamboo Airways is an Aeroplan partner airline, and this news also marks the loss of a lie-flat redemption option for long-haul flights.
Bamboo Airways Ends Long-Haul Flights
Over the last few days, Bamboo Airways has also been removing long-haul flights from its schedule.
The airline, which officially launched operations in January 2019, has been struggling to generate revenue lately, and lost $722 million in 2022 alone. There were also reports that it was even having difficulties paying its pilots.
We now know that Bamboo Airways is doing away with long-haul flights altogether, which will include parting ways with its existing Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and finding ways out of the remainder of its order of 17 more Dreamliners.
At the present, Bamboo Airways is rapidly shutting down its long-haul flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Frankfurt, and London, and as of November 2023, the airline is no longer offering long-haul flights.
It’s worth noting that Bamboo Airways had very ambitious expansion plans, which at one point included multiple flights to North America, as well as expanding to other key destinations in Australia and Europe.
With the challenges the airline is currently facing, it’s clear that these plans will not come into fruition, as it downsizes its fleet and focuses on the competitive domestic and short-haul markets instead.
If you were booked on a flight with Bamboo Airways that has since been cancelled, you’ll be “assisted in adherence to the airline’s policies and applicable laws”, as per the press release about the restructuring.
Aeroplan Members Lose a Long-Haul Lie-Flat Option
In November 2022, Aeroplan announced Bamboo Airways as its 46th airline partner. Since then, Aeroplan members have been able to earn and redeem points on flights with Bamboo Airways, which until now, included business class flights with lie-flat seats.
Booking award flights with Bamboo Airways was a relatively reliable way to book flights from Frankfurt and London to Asia, including as part of a larger trip from North America.
With Bamboo Airways’s extensive domestic network and flights to key destinations in South East Asia, it was a comfortable, unique way to fly, which included some very interesting mood lighting during meal service.
It was also another option to fly from Asia to Australia – a destination for which finding business class award availability is notoriously difficult.
With the loss of long-haul flights, Aeroplan members will no longer have Bamboo Airways as an option on these routes.
It’s worth noting that short-haul flights should still be available to book with Aeroplan points; however, with the abundance of ultra-low-cost carriers available in Vietnam, the value proposition isn’t nearly as strong as it was with long-haul flights.
It’s sad to see the loss of a long-haul option to book with Aeroplan points, even if it wasn’t necessarily the most aspirational product out there.
Vietnam-based Bamboo Airways is winding down its long-haul operations, as the airline begins a restructuring process. As of November 2023, Bamboo Airways is no longer offering flights to London, Frankfurt, Melbourne, and Sydney.
For Aeroplan members, this marks the loss of a long-haul partner airline that offered lie-flat seats in business class. Award availability was fairly reliable, and Bamboo Airways offered a unique, comfortable product for long-haul flights.
Bamboo Airways is now focusing on the domestic and short-haul markets instead, and it will be interesting to see if the new direction fares better for the airline than its previous ambitious goals.