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Bamboo Airways Business Class is one of the lesser known flight options to Asia. The airline from Vietnam was founded in 2017 and flies mainly from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to destinations within Vietnam and destinations in Asia. The airline’s fleet consists mainly of A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s.
Bamboo Airways also serves selected intercontinental destinations with three Boeing 787-9s. These include Sydney, Melbourne and London Gatwick, as well as flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Frankfurt.
Twice a week, Bamboo Airway flies from Frankfurt to Hanoi, and on Thursdays there is a non-stop flight from Frankfurt to Ho Chi Minh City. We recently had the opportunity to test this flight in Bamboo Airways Business Class.
- QH 78, FRA-SGN, 20:10-13:05+1
Bamboo Airways Boeing 787-9 cabin
The airline’s Boeing 787-9 has a total of 294 seats. Of these, 26 are in Bamboo Airways Business Class, which stretches across seven rows between Door 1 and Door 2.
Bamboo Airways is using a popular business class product. The Collins Aerospace Super Diamond Seat is installed in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone arrangement. This is used by many airlines including Air Canada, Qatar Airways and American Airlines.
All seats offer direct access to the aisle and good privacy. If you are not travelling alone and want to talk during the flight, the best option is to choose two seats in the middle.
Of course, these are lie-flat seats, so nothing gets in the way of a comfortable journey. We particularly remember the upholstery, which was never uncomfortable during the 12-hour flight. The orientation of the seats gives you plenty of unobserved space, especially on the window seats.
Another positive is that the seat has plenty of storage space. This means you can keep everything you need within easy reach, and if, like us, you mainly use your iPad for entertainment, there is a place for it during meals.
The Bamboo Airways crew also offer to prepare the seat for sleeping. The seat is provided with a kind of mattress cover. Slippers are also provided with every seat, so you do not have to put on your shoes every time you get up during the flight.
Behind Bamboo Airways Business Class is Economy Class. In front of the regular Economy Class, however, passengers will find 21 premium seats – a kind of Premium Economy Class. The Rockwell Collins MiQ seat is installed in a 2-3-2 configuration over three rows, which is also used on Lufthansa’s Boeing 787-9.
Premium seats offer significantly more comfort and legroom than standard Economy Class seats and can be reserved online for an additional fee. At the moment, however, Premium Seats are part of Economy Class and not a separate class of travel, so there is no adapted service. So you ‘just’ buy the seat. Our seat test left a very positive impression.
The most space is in row 31, the bulkhead row of the small cabin. The seats are far enough away from the cabin wall that you can put your suitcase in front of you after take-off and put your legs up. Another advantage of this row is that personal space is never compromised by the lack of a row in front of you.
If you are travelling in Economy Class, we recommend that you reserve seats in Bulkhead Row or Emergency Exit for extra legroom. Bamboo Airways has introduced 3-3-3 seating in Economy Class.
Service & Cuisine in Bamboo Airways Business Class
As soon as we board, the purser greets us warmly, so you know it is going to be a good flight. Once you have settled into your seat, you are welcomed back on board by a member of the crew and given a welcome drink. There was a choice of water, juice or champagne. We opted for the champagne, which tasted good so far, although it was a little warm. A hot or cold towel is also offered.
There is also a Bamboo Airways-branded amenity kit at the seat, including a toothbrush, comb, eye mask and moisturiser. Most of the products are wrapped in paper rather than plastic to promote sustainability.
Menus are also distributed before departure. Dinner consists of a choice of starter, soup and salad, main course, dessert and cheese:
- Veal slices with tomato, caper and olive salsa
- Salted salmon with wasabi sour cream
- White aspargus soup
- Lettuce and mushroom salad with fried tofu
- Grilled beef tenderloin with provencale crust and potato leek gratin
- Pan fried spiced chicken with mixed vegetables
- Crispy pork belly with stir fried glass noodles
- Baked sea hake in soy sauce with steamed rice
- Cheese and fruits platter
- Assorted cakes
Drinks include the usual range of soft drinks, as well as champagne, beer and wine. According to the crew, the wine selection always varies a little. On our flight they offered a Riesling from Germany and a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.
We opted for the latter. Bamboo Airways has some catching up to do when it comes to spirits; more could be offered here.
After the start, the service begins with nuts and the ordered drink. This is followed by the starter, in our case veal with tomato and olive salsa. This is accompanied by a selection of rolls and garlic bread.
For the main course we choose the spicy chicken with vegetables. Both dishes are tasty, but the chicken could be a little spicier. The dishes are also served on a tray, which could certainly be changed.
Dessert or cheese is served from a trolley, which is a nice way to break up the service routine. The crew is very friendly and accommodating at all times – any request, such as another glass of wine or water, is quickly fulfilled.
A nice touch on the drinks menu, in my opinion, is the classic Vietnamese coffee, the “Phin Coffee”. This is strong coffee with condensed milk and ice cubes, freshly made in Bamboo Airways Business Class.
During the night, the crew is always visible in Business Class. If you have a wish, it will be fulfilled. In the unlikely event that you get hungry late at night, you can choose between sandwiches and instant noodles.
Bamboo Airways’ flight schedule from Frankfurt to Vietnam is convenient: both flights leave Frankfurt at 20:10 and arrive in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi at noon the next day. Unlike other airlines, Bamboo Airways does not serve breakfast as a second service on these flights, but rather an early lunch, which is very pleasant for anyone who is not a big fan of airplane breakfasts.
On our flight, the menu for this service is as follows
- Mixed green salad with vinaigrette dressing
- Pan fried chicken brest with potato noodles
- Garlic fried prawns with steamed rice
- Sichuan style braised beef with egg noodles
- Chocolate tartelette
- Seasonal fruits
We opted for the beef and chocolate tartelette, both of which turned out to be very good choices.
Bamboo Airways’ in-flight entertainment has a good selection of films, both new and old, which are well worth watching again at your leisure. There are also a few series. Wifi is not yet available on board Bamboo Airways aircraft, but hopefully this will change.