Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet helped break an order logjam at the Dubai Airshow on November 10 by announcing a firm order with Airbus valued at $3.6 billion to purchase 30 A321 narrowbody airliners. The order is the third the carrier has made with Airbus over the past two years.
Hanoi-based Vietjet, which launched operations in 2011, now operates 29 A320-series aircraft, including three A321s, on a network covering Vietnam and destinations in Asia. The carrier signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus in Paris in September 2013 to purchase 92 Airbus aircraft and lease eight. Earlier this year at the Paris Air Show, it placed a firm order with Airbus for six more A321s.
The transaction announced at the Dubai Airshow covers 21 A321neo and nine A321 current engine option airliners. The announcement came an hour later than scheduled, as the two parties conducted last-minute negotiations. John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer, customers, said the order is firm, and not a confirmation of an earlier option. “It’s not a rehash of anything else, it’s an incremental order,” Leahy said.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet president and CEO, said: “Vietjet has grown faster than expected in the last few years and our previous purchasing plans for new aircraft could not keep up with developing demand. Together with the new aircraft order, we will continue to expand our network and customize services and facilities while still offering the lowest fares in order to ease the travel of people and tourists.”