Vietnam buys first Western plane
VIETNAM Airlines has made its first Western aircraft purchase, ordering two Fokker 70s in a deal valued at about US$50 million.
Delivery of the 79-seat jets is scheduled for May next year and it is the first step in Vietnam Airlines' programme to replace its ageing fleet of former Soviet-built aircraft on its domestic and regional routes.
The Fokker 70 will also be used on scheduled services to China, powered by Rolls-Royce Tay engines.
The deal was handled by Hong Kong-based Trinity Aviation, which was the first foreign aviation company to do business in Vietnam with the lease of two Boeing 737-300 aircraft to the carrier in 1991.
It was followed by the lease of three Boeing 767-300ER extended range aircraft used on longer range routes to Europe and Australia.
More than 108 Fokker aircraft are already flying in Asia, including China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and South Korea.
Vietnam Airlines has announced plans to buy eight to 10 more aircraft in the 70 to 110-seat category over the next five years.