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Vietnam signs up for 12 additional 787-8 Dreamliners
17 November 2007


Hanoi: Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company (VALC) have signed deals for twelve 787-8 Dreamliners with US aircraft maker Boeing to help the state-run carrier modernise its fleet and meet surging demand for air travel.

While Vietnam Airlines has agreed to buy four of the large passenger jets, the newly formed Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company (VALC) will buy eight of the twin-aisle aircraft to lease out to the airline. Deliveries to VALC will be made from 2016 onward

VALC said its eight planes would cost a combined $1.4 billion, putting the total price tag for the 12 aircraft at about $2.1 billion.

 

The first of four 787s ordered under a previous deal are due for delivery by late 2009.

Vietnam Airlines plans to operate a total of 20 Dreamliners by 2015, and 28 by 2020, the airline said in a statement.

"The 787 Dreamliner will enable Vietnam Airlines to better match airplane capabilities with market expectations and demands as the airline expands ...to include North America and new European and Asian destinations," said Michael Fleming, Boeing's senior sales director for the Asia Pacific region.

Communist-ruled Vietnam has also agreed to buy 10 Airbus A350-900XWBs and 20 A321s in a deal that ought to be finalised before December 21.

Meanwhile, air travel is taking off in this country of 84 million, which has seen tourism and business travel surge on the back of over 8 per cent annual economic growth last year.

The economic growth has spurred foreign airlines and budget carriers to make Vietnam their destination in increasingly large numbers.

The aviation sector is now growing at 11.7 per cent a year, according to a government statement.

By 2020, the aviation sector aims to expand by up to 14 per cent annually, when the country hopes to be among Southeast Asia's three leading air transport providers, with a maximum of 10 aviation companies, the statement said.

Vietnam Airlines, which will privatise partly, now operates direct flights to 26 large cities in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, and plans to launch direct flights to Los Angeles by late next year.

Pham Ngoc Minh, chairman of VALC, said that, with the Vietnamese aviation sector growing fast, "we will seek more planes for the development of the Vietnam aviation sector in general and of Vietnam Airlines in particular."

"Vietnam Airlines now owns 46 aircraft and they are not enough at the present stage," he said. Vietnam Airlines plans to operate a fleet of 86 aircraft by 2015, and a total of 110 planes by 2020.

Vietnam Airlines, Vinashin Business Group, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group, the Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam and the Phong Phu Corporation run VALC, which was officially launched this week.

send this article to a friendThe leasing company plans to buy and lease aircraft and offer on-demand air transport, terminal operation and aircraft maintenance and insurance services.

 

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Vietnam signs up for 12 additional 787-8 Dreamliners