October 4th, 2007 05:25 EST
Vietnam Airlines to acquire 10 A350 XWB and 20 additional A321 aircraft
Vietnam Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 10 A350-900 XWBs, as well as for 20 additional A321s. With this further commitment for Airbus aircraft, Vietnam Airlines becomes a strategic customer for the A350 XWB programme. Furthermore, with this commitment for the A350 and for additional A321s, Vietnam Airlines will become one of the largest Airbus operators in Asia.
Vietnam Airlines currently operates a fleet of 23 Airbus aircraft, including 10 A320s, 10 A321s and three A330s (two -200s and one -300). Five previously ordered A321s are still to be delivered.
"We thoroughly reviewed the A350 XWB programme, and we are very confident that this aircraft will set new standards of passenger comfort, operating economics and low emissions in our growing long-haul markets. The size of the A350-900 XWB responds very well to our expected traffic growth over the next decade," said Mr Nguyen Sy Hung, Chairman and CEO of Vietnam Airlines. "Our A330s already provide us with an excellent level of economics combined with superior passenger appeal. The A350 XWB will further consolidate our successful growth and long term development into the future."
"We are very proud to have one of the most successful and well respected airline like Vietnam Airlines to confirm its choice for the A350 XWB", said Thomas Enders, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. "We are very grateful for this strong endorsement of the A350 XWB programme, and together with the additional A321s, we are also pleased to be playing a major role in Vietnam Airlines' continued expansion of its regional network. We are delighted with our long-standing partnership with Vietnam Airlines, and look forward to continuing this relationship into the future."
With Vietnam Airlines' endorsement, total firm orders and commitments for the A350 XWB programme stand at 264 aircraft (154 firm orders and 110 commitments).
The A350 XWB (Extra Wide-Body) is Airbus' newest aircraft model and will be the world's most technically advanced aircraft when it enters service. Designed to increase productivity and offer unparalleled levels of passenger comfort in its class, the A350 XWB will offer the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile costs of any aircraft in that category. Addressing environmental concerns and cost-effectiveness, the A350 XWB will be one of the most fuel-efficient aircraft ever.
The A321 is already the aircraft of choice for more many customers and operators around the world and is the unquestioned leader in its class with a commanding market share and a continually expanding operator base. As part of the A320 Family, the A321 provides the operator with a significant competitive advantage in the market today through very low operating costs per seat, as well as the widest and most comfortable cabin in its category.
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