Vietnam Airlines has selected Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft to expand its single-aisle fleet, with a commitment to order 50 737-8 airplanes.
Building on the US aircraft maker’s long history of collaboration with Vietnam's civil aviation industry, the carrier’s 737 MAX fleet will support the country's goal of becoming a leading aviation hub.
The agreement, estimated to be worth US$7.8 billion at current list prices, was announced during a signing ceremony in Hanoi with US President Joe Biden, US secretary of state Antony Blinken, White House officials and Vietnamese government leaders.
US and Vietnam officials said the commitment will bolster jobs in both countries and strengthen their bilateral economic partnership.
“The new narrow-body fleet will allow us to foster our overall development and extend our high-quality service on Vietnam Airlines' domestic and Asian routes, as well as modernize our fuel-efficient fleet," says Vietnam Airlines chairman Dang Ngoc Hoa.
Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice-president of commercial sales and marketing, adds: “Southeast Asia is one of the world's fastest growing aviation markets, and the 737 MAX is the perfect airplane for Vietnam Airlines to efficiently meet that regional demand. We value our historic partnership with Vietnam Airlines, dating back to 1995 when the airline first leased 767s."
Boeing says it is committed to its strong relationship with Vietnamese suppliers and has partnered with the country to expand its efficient and resilient global supply chain. The Seattle-based aircraft firm has a corporate office in Hanoi and field service offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The 737 MAX reduces fuel use and carbon emissions by 20% and has a smaller noise footprint than airplanes it replaces. The latest deal will also allow Vietnam Airlines to fly up to 3,500 nautical miles to serve increasingly popular international and regional routes.