November 8, 2018 / 2:43 PM / 8 days ago

UPDATE 1-Vietnam's Bamboo Airways expects to get aviation licence next week

(Adds details and background)

By Khanh Vu

HANOI, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Vietnam’s new carrier Bamboo Airways expects to finally get an aviation licence next week and start flying within weeks, the chairman of its parent firm said on Thursday.

The airline had to delay its maiden flight on Oct. 10 because it didn’t receive a licence in time.

“Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the proposal from the Ministry of Transport to issue the licence to the airline,” Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of FLC Group, told Reuters by phone.

“We will launch our first flight within 45 days after receiving the licence,” Quyet said. “Receiving the licence would allow Bamboo to start services.”

Bamboo Airways would be Vietnam’s fifth airline after Vietnam Airlines, budget operator Jetstar Pacific Airlines, budget carrier Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co.

Bamboo Airways signed a provisional deal to buy 20 Boeing 787-9 wide-body jets worth $5.6 billion at list prices in July, as well as a memorandum of understanding with Airbus for up to 24 A320neo narrow-bodies in March.

Last week, Vietjet signed a $6.5 billion agreement to buy 50 Airbus A321neo jets, part of aggressive investment in the airline’s fleet, which has provided lucrative business for both European aerospace group Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; editing by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton)

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