Hanoi, Vietnam - Vietnam Airlines is looking for government approval to order 50 single-aisle jets with 50 options.
The state-owned company will make a choice between the Airbus's A320neo and Boeing's 737 MAX, but ongoing 737 MAX grounding complicates this process said the Vietnam Airlines' CEO Duong Tri Thanh.
The Vietnamese flag carrier plans to take delivery of new planes between 2021 and 2025. Since the manufacturers' backlogs are overwhelmed by the new orders, Vietnam Airlines does not exclude the leasing option for the first a few aircraft.
The carrier's narrow-body single-aisle jet fleet currently comprises 54 Airbus A321-200 and 11 A321neo. The older generation A321- 200s of the airline are 8.3 years old on average.
Vietnam Airlines already has three Airbus A320neo in its order book with the Chinese lessor ICBC Financial Leasing waiting to be delivered. The deliveries are expected to begin next year from the second quarter.
Vietnam's national airline is also looking at alternatives to replace its six ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft with the regional jets from either the Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier (Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation) or Brazilian Embraer.
The state-run airline operator is planning to acquire ten regional jets.