Bamboo Airways the Vietnamese start-up airline has announced plans for an aviation training institute as part of a large-scale campaign that may see the carrier begin direct flights to the US, as early as 2020.

In a company statement issued on 29 June, the airline said it will begin development of a new US$30.4 million aviation training centre in July. The centre is expected to train 3,500 students annually for the purpose of filling pilot, cabin crew and ground operations staff. The centre will also provide basic aviation training and technology courses following its planned opening in the first half of 2020.

“On-site training is the overall plan…” said Ho Thi Thu Trang, HR direct for Bamboo Airways and deputy director of Bamboo Airways Training Centre. “After being put into operation, the institute will contribute to increasing the localisation rate of the industry personnel, reducing dependence on foreign partners, improving industry competitiveness as well an ensuring sustainable growth of Vietnam’s aviation industry.”

The airline’s approach to addressing its personnel needs is part of a larger strategy to actively expand its network both at home and abroad, the airline stated. According to local media reports, the Hanoi-based airline now seeks approval from US authorities as it evaluates plans to fly nonstop to either Los Angeles or San Francisco using a leased Airbus A380. Bamboo could launch the service early next year, pending US approval is granted at the end of this year.

Earlier this year, the US FAA grated a Category One rating to Vietnam, thereby allowing Vietnamese carriers to begin routes to the US and participate in codeshare agreements with US-based airlines.

Bamboo Airways is also seeking to increase its domestic and international routes from 37 to 40 by the end of this year.

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