Vietjet to expand fleet with 20 long-range Airbus jets

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Vietjet to expand fleet with 20 long-range Airbus jets

Ground staff check a Vietjet airplane before departure at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

Budget airline Vietjet has ordered 20 Airbus long-range A321XLR aircraft to expand its international reach as Vietnam’s aviation market keeps growing.

With a range of up to 8,700 kilometers, the aircraft will serve Vietjet’s plans to expand its international flights network, the airline said in a statement Thursday.

The contract increases Vietjet’s order book with Airbus to 186 aircraft, with the first A321XLR to be delivered in 2023.

The single-aisle A321XLR will “modernize Vietjet’s fleet as we look to strongly grow our international flight network,” Vietjet CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said. The airline currently operates 66 Airbus jets.

Also Thursday, the carrier ordered two A320/321 aircraft simulators for pilot and technician training on top of the one simulator it already has.

A321XLR’s range is 15 percent more than the previous model A321LR, it also burns 30 percent less fuel per seat compared with older generations.

Vietjet’s order follows similar moves by other Vietnamese airlines to expand their fleet as air travel heats up. Private airline Bamboo Airways has ordered 50 narrow-body Airbus A320neo aircraft and is expected to receive the first next month, while national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to get 50 new narrow-body aircraft by 2025.

Vietnam’s fleet of over 200 aircraft last year could quadruple by 2038, aircraft maker Boeing said last week.

Last year, the country’s 21 state-run airports served 103.5 million passengers, up 11 percent year-on-year, and the figure is set to rise to 112 million this year, according to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

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