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17 June 2009

Vietnam, Philippine carriers place orders with Airbus

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Vietnam Airlines has ordered 16 A321 aircraft from Airbus and Philippine Cebu Pacific Airlines is planning to buy five more A320s from the European aircraft maker, according to reports from Reuters.

Vietnam Airlines ordered 16 single-aisle A321 aircraft worth $1.4 billion at list prices on Tuesday as it expands its regional and domestic route networks.

The carrier was quoted as telling a news conference it had signed a memorandum of understanding for two additional wide-body A350-900s worth $480 million. It placed a firm order for 10 A350 XWBs in December 2007.

"Vietnam will remain one of the key growth markets in Asia in coming years," Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders told the news conference.

Tuesday's deal increases the total number of orders placed by Vietnam Airlines for A321 to 41, of which 14 have already been delivered.

Vietnam Airlines currently operates a fleet of 52 aircraft and flies to 19 domestic and 23 international destinations.

Meantime, Philippine airline Cebu Pacific said it plans to buy at least five more Airbus A320s, in addition to an original 10 it has already ordered.

It may also order a further five aircraft, the company said, but a final decision has not yet been taken.

"The global economic downturn notwithstanding, we are experiencing a surge in the number of passengers flying Cebu Pacific, mainly because of our low fares," Reuters quoted chairman Lance Gokongwei as saying in a statement.

Cebu Pacific flies to 32 domestic destinations locally and to 15 cities elsewhere in Asia. 


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