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Is golf the key for Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways to capitalise on country’s aviation boom?

POSTED ON May 17, 2019 @ 5:55 am

As Vietnam’s aviation sector booms and passenger numbers rise at double-digit rates, local upstart Bamboo Airways is embracing what it hopes will be a novel way of standing out in a crowded market: golf.

Competition among airlines in Vietnam has intensified since Bamboo launched in January. Malaysia’s AirAsia Group recently cancelled its foray into the Vietnamese market, and increased traffic has placed strain on Vietnam’s ageing infrastructure.

But Bamboo chief executive Trinh Van Quyet is confident he can fend off budget carrier VietJet and state-owned Vietnam Airlines by using the airline to connect his golf resorts to cities in Vietnam and northeast Asia.

“We have the rooms and combo packages for passengers. They can visit Vietnam, stay and play golf for free,” Quyet said in a recent interview from an FLC resort in Ha Long Bay.

Bamboo has already sold out its domestic packages for this summer, a company spokeswoman said.

The package offers flights from the southern business hub of Ho Chi Minh City to an FLC resort in northern Vietnam for about US$500, just more than half what it would cost to fly and golf separately, the spokeswoman added.

Tourism to Vietnam from golf-obsessed South Korea has soared in recent years. The number of visitors from that country in January to April this year rose by 23.2 per cent from a year earlier to 1.45 million, according to Vietnam’s Government Statistic Office.
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