United States (US) President Joe Biden has confirmed that Boeing and Vietnam Airlines closed an aircraft order worth up to $7.8 billion.
According to the White House’s readout of Biden’s meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, both officials “welcomed a landmark deal between Boeing and Vietnam Airlines worth $7.8 billion that will support more than 30,000 jobs in the United States”.
In a separate fact sheet, the White House clarified that Vietnam Airlines has purchased 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with the deal providing the country’s growing travel and tourism industry with “world-class aircraft”.
Currently, Vietnam Airlines does not operate any narrow-body jets made by Boeing, and only flies the 787-9 and 787-10, according to ch-aviation.com data. Its single-aisle fleet consists solely of Airbus aircraft, with the airline operating 48 A321ceo (seven inactive) and 20 A321neos.
Pacific Airlines, a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, also has 11 Airbus A320s (two inactive) in its fleet.
During a February 2019 interview, the then-chief executive officer (CEO) of Vietnam Airlines told Bloomberg the airline was considering ordering between 50 and 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, with deliveries expected between 2020 and 2030.
However, the following month, the aircraft was grounded worldwide following a second fatal crash to involve the type in Ethiopia in March 2019.
In December 2021, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) said that based on Boeing’s safety measures and investigations into the two accidents, it had re-evaluated the safety index of the aircraft and allowed the 737 MAX to operate within the country from December 31, 2021.
Since that date, Boeing has not delivered a single 737 MAX to Vietnam, according to the company’s Orders & Deliveries filings as of July 31, 2023.
Meanwhile, ch-aviation.com data showed that no airlines in Vietnam operate the type. Only VietJet Air, a locally based…