Communist Vietnam's first private airline, VietJetAir, said Wednesday that it was close to finalising a $6.1 billion order for 62 Airbus aircraft.
The deal is expected to be signed at the Singapore Airshow next month, VietJetAir's managing director Luu Duc Khanh told AFP.
VietJetAir and Airbus signed a letter of intent in September for the purchase of 62 A320 medium-haul aircraft worth US$6.1 billion at catalogue prices, and for options for another 30.
The low-cost carrier began operating in late 2011 and is the first private airline in Vietnam to offer domestic and international flights. It currently serves 11 cities in Vietnam plus Bangkok.
Last year, the carrier took delivery of a ninth leased A320.
The letter of intent was for 14 of the current single-aisle A320 model and 42 of the new A320Neo due to enter into service in 2015, which promises airlines considerably better fuel efficiency.
Another six planes will be the longer A321 version, which can be configured with up to 220 seats.
While VietJetAir has a good foothold in the Vietnamese market, analysts say it is facing stiff competition in the low-cost segment in Southeast Asia, behind Malaysia's Air Asia, Lion Air of Indonesia, Singapore's Tiger Airways and Jetstar of Australia.
by Dmitry ZAKS © 2014 AFP
Date: Jan 29, 2014