30 pilots depart from Bamboo Airways

September 27, 2023 | 18:02
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Bamboo Airways, the third-largest airline in Vietnam, finds itself amidst a turbulent phase with reportedly around 30 foreign pilots - over 10 per cent of its total - resigning, anonymous sources revealed.
30 pilots depart from Bamboo Airways

Alleged delays in salary payments over the last two months were cited as a critical driver behind this exodus, according to information acquired by Reuters.

This development mirrors the ongoing structural reshuffle within the organisation encompassing flight networks, air fleets, and human resources. The company conveyed to Reuters that the restructuring has been vigorous and included downsizing pilot staff, although specific figures remain undisclosed.

Several employees, primarily foreign pilots who form a substantial part of the crew, are reportedly contending with late salary payments, further aggravating the company's internal climate. A message dated August 21 from company representatives informed foreign pilots that they would receive 35 per cent of their salaries that day, already overdue by a week, with the balance to be cleared subsequently. Reuters disclosed that a similar message was relayed in the previous month, with salaries eventually paid in full. However, foreign pilots are yet to receive their September salaries, due on September 15.

Bamboo Airways maintains that it is operating stably and is in the process of mobilising capital from strategic shareholders. One of its major creditors, Sacombank, has expressed confidence in the airline's long-term prospects and is reportedly willing to increase its investments in the airline. Sacombank has not yet commented on the current salary delay issues.

The airline, which had been planning a US listing back in 2021, is grappling with rapid leadership changes and intense restructuring since the arrest of a former chairman on charges of stock market manipulation in March last year.

Operating both international and domestic flights and holding about 17 per cent market share in Vietnam, the airline recorded a net loss of approximately $30.5 million in 2022.

Despite these tribulations, flights continue to depart regularly and on schedule from the country's two main airports. According to Planespotters.net, seven of Bamboo’s thirty aircraft, including some recently acquired, are currently parked for maintenance.

Sacombank eyes investment in Bamboo Airways amidst airline reshuffle Sacombank eyes investment in Bamboo Airways amidst airline reshuffle

Sacombank, one of Bamboo Airways' primary creditors, is considering an equity investment in the airline, signalling confidence in the airline's restructuring and future growth.

By Lam Tien

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