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October 23, 2007

VIETNAM: Aviation
Vietnam Airlines to expand fleet by 2020

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved plans to allow Vietnam Airlines to buy a total of 43 new aircraft to boost its operations by 2020.

The prime minister approved the plans to permit the national carrier to raise its aircraft fleet to 60 by 2010, 85 by 2015 and 107 by 2020.

The government said the number of aircraft operated by Vietnam Airlines can be adjusted according to demand. Between 2006 and 2020, Vietnam Airlines will buy 43 aircraft, including 20 Airbus A321, eight Boeing B787-8, five ATR 72 and ten Airbus A350-900.

The prime minister has allowed Vietnam Airlines to discuss with Boeing to sign contracts to buy 12 Boeing 787-8 before November 17 and with Airbus to sign contracts to buy 20 Airbus A321 before December 21.

The government will provide Vietnam Airlines with US$56.5 million to pay for the contract signed in 2005 for four Boeing 787-8.

The prime minister also approved plans to let Vietnam Airlines reorganise Vasco, which is the third state-owned airline in Vietnam.

The Ministry of Finance will be responsible for guaranteeing the funds needed by Vietnam Airlines to buy the aircraft and engines.  Courtesy Cargonews Asia

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