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September 7, 2016

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Vietnamese carriers go for Airbus

VIETNAMESE carriers bought 40 airplanes worth US$6.5 billion from France’s Airbus yesterday, as President Francois Hollande visited the nation to drum up business ties.

Low-cost private airline VietJet, known for its bikini-clad hostesses, bought 20 planes while national carrier Vietnam Airlines and budget airline Jetstar Pacific bought 10 each in “deals worth US$6.5 billion,” Airbus Asia spokesman Sean Lee said.

It did not provide a breakdown of each deal’s value.

It is the first deal between Airbus and Jetstar Pacific, which said in July it was planning to buy 10 single-aisle A320 aircraft.

Vietnam Airlines, which owns 70 percent of Jetstar Pacific, will buy 10 Airbus A350 planes, according to officials at a signing ceremony attended by Hollande and Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi.

VietJet said it would buy 20 A321 planes to boost its current fleet of 34 Airbus planes.

The VietJet deal comes after it purchased 100 passenger jets from US aircraft maker Boeing for US$11.3 billion in May, during a visit by US President Barack Obama.

It called the deal the largest single commercial airplane purchase in Vietnam aviation history.

VietJet, founded in 2007, is making a major move into the lucrative Southeast Asian aviation sector.

Southeast Asia is seen as key growth market for budget air travel, driven by the region’s growing middle class, many of whom are travelling for the first time.


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