Vietnam’s newest airline, Bamboo Airways, will become the first new foreign carrier to serve Melbourne Airport since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bamboo Airways will make Melbourne its Australian headquarters and begin regular non-stop services between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City in April 2022.

The airline intends to operate two flights per week from April 1, with the option of growing to four per week later in the year, while also exploring the potential for services between Melbourne and Hanoi.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Lorie Argus said she is proud to welcome a new international carrier while dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Adding a new airline in the midst of a global pandemic is a testament to the strength of Melbourne’s tourism appeal, and our airport’s ability to handle passengers safely,” she said.

“Before the pandemic Vietnam was one of our most popular overseas leisure destinations, and we have no doubt that Bamboo Airways will be embraced by Victorian travellers.

“Attracting international carriers and new destinations is key as we rebuild from Covid-19 and every new airline sends a clear message to the world that Melbourne is open and ready to welcome visitors once more.

“On behalf of Melbourne Airport, I’d like to sincerely thank Bamboo Airways for choosing to make Melbourne its Australian home base, and the Victorian Government for its support enabling this service to become a reality.” Bamboo’s Melbourne-Ho Chi Minh City service will be the carrier’s first Australian venture since launching freight operations in 2020, with flights subject to regulatory approval.

Nguyen Manh Quan, Executive Deputy General Director of Bamboo Airways thanked the Victorian government and Melbourne Airport for their support.

"We expect the upcoming regular nonstop Vietnam - Australia route of Bamboo Airways will help maximize passengers' benefits when traveling between the two countries while making a substantial contribution to the promotion of bilateral cooperation in economy, culture, and people-to-people exchange”, he said.

The announcement delivers on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019.