It seems Vietnam Airlines is on a roll with announcements, with them announcing with Boeing a commitment to order 737 MAX aircraft for its fleet.
The airline has signed a commitment for 50 of the Boeing 737-8 aircraft, to expand the airline’s single-aisle fleet. This commitment was announced during a signing ceremony with President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House officials and Vietnamese government leaders on Monday, 11th September 2023.
U.S. and Vietnam officials said the commitment will bolster jobs in both countries and strengthen the bilateral economic partnership. Building on Boeing’s long history of collaboration with Vietnam’s civil aviation industry, the carrier’s 737 MAX fleet will support the country’s goal of becoming a leading aviation hub.
The 737 MAX family will allow Vietnam Airlines to fly up to 3,500 nautical miles (6,480 km) to serve increasingly popular international and regional routes. The carrier currently operates a fleet of 15 787 Dreamliner jets and serves over 50 destinations in 17 countries.
Dang Ngoc Hoa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnam Airlines, said:
“In line with Vietnam Airlines’ 2025-2030 fleet strategy and a vision to 2035, aircraft investment is a crucial project that underpins positive recovery momentum and prosperous outlook for the airline, said
“The new narrow-body fleet will allow us to foster our overall development and extend our high-quality service on Vietnam Airlines’ domestic and Asian routes, as well as modernize our fuel-efficient fleet.”
Brad McMullen, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, added:
“Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets, and the 737 MAX is the perfect airplane for Vietnam Airlines to efficiently meet that regional demand,”
“We value our historic partnership with Vietnam Airlines, dating back to 1995 when the airline first leased 767s.”
Awaiting signing on the dotted line
Currently, Vietnam Airlines operates Airbus A320 family aircraft (20 A321neo, 41 A321-200) in its single-aisle fleet. The airline also operates the Airbus A350-900, Boeing 787-8 and Beoing 787-10 in its widebody fleet.
The group also holds 15 Airbus A320 aircraft in its Pacific Airlines subsidiary (what was Jetstar Pacific in the past).
It’ll be interesting how the airline chooses to deploy these aircraft how they fit into Vietnam Airlines’ 0peration and how they use them to expand and replace their existing fleet.
There is an interesting wrinkle – and it’s how this deal has been described. This was done during the trade visit – and one photo of the signing caught my eye from BNEWS – stating it was a “Proposal Acceptance”.
That would put this announcement nearer a Memorandum of Understanding, rather than a commitment to buy at this point.
Whilst Boeing has strong relationships with Vietnamese suppliers and has a corporate office in Hanoi and Field Service Offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there is work to be done to convert this proposal into what Boeing would love best – a firm order.
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