Vietjet has placed the largest single aircraft order in the history of Vietnamese aviation.
The low-cost carrier has finalised an order with Boeing for 100 new B737 MAX 200 aircraft, valued at approximately US$11.3 billion at current list prices.
The deal was signed by Vietjet’s president & CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ president & CEO, Ray Conner, at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. The ceremony was also attended by US President Barack Obama, during his state visit to Vietnam.
“Vietjet is efficiently operating a fleet of narrow body airplanes. Our investment in a fleet of B737 MAX 200 will accommodate our strategy of growing Vietjet’s coming international route network including long haul flights,” said Ms Nguyen. “Through this agreement, Vietjet will contribute increasing bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and the United States, as well as the integration and development of the aviation industry in Vietnam.”
The B737 MAX 200 is the high-capacity version of the new, fuel-efficient B737 MAX 8 aircraft. As the name suggests, the aircraft can seat up to 200 passengers in an all-economy class layout. The new aircraft will be delivered between 2019 and 2023.
The agreement marks a major win for Boeing, as until now Vietjet had only purchased and operated Airbus jets.
“Boeing is proud to again play an integral role in advancing Vietnam’s aviation industry,” said Conner. “Incorporating the latest design and technology features, the highly efficient 737 MAX 200 will provide Vietjet’s growing network with market-leading economics, a superior passenger experience and contribute significantly to their future success.”
At present, Vietjet operates a fleet of 35 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. As well as the 100 B737s, the airline has outstanding orders for more than 100 extra Airbus jets, including the A320neo – the main rival to Boeing’s B737 MAX series. This will see the airline’s fleet grow to more than 200 aircraft by 2023.