VietJetAir orders 62 Airbus jets
- Published: 25/09/2013 at 09:55 PM
- Online news:
PARIS - Airbus announced Wednesday that VietJetAir signed a letter of intent to purchase 62 A320 medium-haul aircraft worth US$6.1 billion at catalogue prices and take options on another 30.
The order was signed by the managing director of the low-cost Vietnamese airline, Luu Duc Khanh, during a ceremony in Paris attended by the French and Vietnamese prime ministers.
``The A320 has proven to be extremely efficient in service with VietJetAir and is a favourite with our passengers,'' he was quoted as saying in an Airbus statement.
The airline just took delivery of a ninth leased A320.
The order is for 14 of the current single-aisle A320 model and 42 of the new A320Neo due to enter into service in 2015, which promises airlines considerably better fuel efficiency.
Another six planes will be the longer A321 version, which can be configured with up to 220 seats.
Airbus's chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, said the order underscores the A320's position ``as the preferred choice in the single aisle segment in the fast-growing South East Asian market.''
VietJetAir began operating in late 2011 and is the first private airline in Vietnam to operate domestic and international flights. It currently serves 11 cities in Vietnam plus Bangkok.
Singapore-based aviation analyst Brendan Sobie said the airline already has a fifth of the Vietnamese market and should attain a quarter by the end of this year.
``They have established a good foothold on the Vietnamese market, it's time for them to expand internationally,'' Mr Sobie, chief analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation, told AFP.
He noted however that VietJetAir is now the fifth airline to enter the low-cost segment in South East Asia, behind Malaysia's Air Asia, Lion Air of Indonesia, Singapore's Tiger Airways and JetStar of Australia.
``They're going to have to do some work to build up the brand,'' said Mr Sobie.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency