VietJet has announced its plans to take its first steps into the widebody market by operating three leased Airbus A330s. The news comes after the Hanoi-based low-cost carrier agreed on a delivery timeline for its 119 outstanding deliveries of Airbus planes. The A330s will begin arriving this month, offering greater capacity than VietJet’s existing narrowbodies.
Three A330s inbound
VietJet released a statement earlier this week confirming its intentions to fly the Airbus A330. Forming part of a wider strategic agreement with the manufacturer, the announcement coincides with a state visit to France by the Vietnamese Prime Minister and other delegates. VietJet’s Managing Director, Dinh Viet Phuong, stated that:
“ I believe that the add-on of the A330s will surely enhance our fleet’s technical reliability, operational efficiency and flight range to better meet travel demand of our flyers in the coming time . ”
As it stands, the routes that VietJet will deploy the A330 on are unclear. It may initially use the type to provide higher capacity on existing services. However, the carrier also wants to “ expand across continents thanks to its new and modern fleet . ” In any case, the airline confirmed that the deliveries of the 3 leased A330s would begin this month.
Part of a larger strategic agreement
The new strategic co-operation agreement between VietJet and Airbus doesn’t just concern the leasing of the three aforementioned A330s. Indeed, the parties have also taken the opportunity to establish a timeline with regard to the deliveries of 119 outstanding A321neo family orders. According to ch-aviation. com , this figure comprises 99 A321neos and 20 A321XLRs .
In addition to the delivery plan, the agreement will furthermore see greater co-operation in terms of training and maintenance. Furthermore, with aviation’s environmental footprint in mind, VietJet and Airbus will certainly also work together on “ initiatives for fuel efficiency and sustainable development . ” Regarding the particular agreement, Airbus CCO Christian Scherer stated that:
“ We are pleased to reach this agreement with VietJet. It’s another example of how we have worked together with our customers to find solutions in order to adapt to the impact associated with the pandemic. With its contemporary and efficient Airbus navy, VietJet will be well equipped to benefit from the rebound in air travel in Asia, where we see strong pent-up demand . ”
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An all-Airbus fleet (for now)
The transport of VietJet’s outstanding Airbus orders will see the fleet more than double within size. At present, data from ch-aviation shows that will it flies 75 Airbus jets, comprising the A320, A321, and A321neo designs. With such an affinity to the European producer in place, it is unsurprising to see typically the carrier opt for an Airbus plane for their first widebody.
That being said, VietJet’s fleet will be set to diversify along with the deliveries of 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets. Of these, over half are examples of this MAX 10 variant. VietJet also plans to receive 66 MAX 8s, as well as 28 examples of the high-density MAX 8 200. With more compared to 300 planes on order across the two manufacturers, VietJet clearly has big plans for the future.
What do you make of VietJet’s plans to operate the A330? Have you ever flown with the Vietnamese low-cost carrier? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.