VietJet is buying 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth USD 11.3 billion at list prices. This is a win both for VietJet (establishing it as one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing low-cost carriers) and for Boeing, as VietJet (founded in 2011) has so far only bought Airbus planes.
Someone at Boeing may well deserve a bonus. A release proclaiming the purchase, complete with a photo of the signing in Hanoi, showing US President Barack Obama standing under a giant bust of Ho Chi Minh, can be seen here: http://www.eglobaltravelmedia.com.au/vietjet-boeing-finalize-vietnams-largest-ever-commercial-aircraft-purchase/
The deal was signed during Obama’s recent visit to Vietnam, along with a USD 3.04 billion order for engines made by Pratt & Whitney (a US company) for the 63 Airbus planes of the 99 it ordered since 2013.
VietJet says it will have more than 200 aircraft by the end of 2023. Its rival, Vietnam Airlines, currently operates 89 planes.
“Our investment in a fleet of 737 MAX 200s will accommodate our strategy of growing VietJet’s coming international route network, including long haul flights,” chief executive Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said in a statement.
Reuters observes that VietJet will be one of the few low-cost carriers to order both Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s, “as operating two types of planes is costly”. Indonesia’s Lion Air also operates both, as do some full-service carriers like American Airlines.
Written by Peter Needham