Melbourne Airport is welcoming the first new international airline to commence flights to and from Melbourne since the pandemic.

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways plans to start twice-weekly services between Melbourne and Ho Chi Minh City from 1 April 2022, which will soon increase to four times a week.

Image of Bamboo Airline plane flying across the ocean

It will also plan non-stop air services between Melbourne and the Vietnamese capital Hanoi in 2022 and set up its Australian headquarters in Melbourne.

The new flights will help strengthen Victoria’s trade links with Vietnam – a key trade and tourism market. Prior to the pandemic, an estimated 53,500 visitors to Victoria were from Vietnam, which was nearly half of all travellers from Vietnam to Australia in 2019.

Visitor numbers from Vietnam to Victoria grew by an average of 27 per cent each year between 2014 and 2019.

Melbourne is also a popular study destination for students from Vietnam. Around 8000 Vietnamese students are currently enrolled at Victorian institutions – one of the largest international student populations in Victoria.

Vietnam is one of Victoria’s top ten export markets with goods exports valued at $695 million in 2020-21, which is a 31 per cent increase in value compared to the previous year.

The Victorian Government officially opened its new trade and investment office (VGTI) in Ho Chi Minh City, the latest in a global network that is the largest of any Australian state or territory.

The new services by Bamboo Airways follows another major announcement earlier in the month by Qantas, which announced a new passenger route from Melbourne to Delhi starting on 22 December.

Victoria’s international aviation sector directly employs 6,700 people and supports thousands of other jobs throughout the supply chain.

“The new services by Bamboo Airways are great news for business leaders, international students and Victoria’s Vietnamese community.” Minister for Industry Support and Recovery and Minister for Trade, Martin Pakula

Victoria’s international aviation sector directly employs 6700 people and supports thousands of other jobs throughout the supply chain.