Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vietnam to buy 30 Airbus airplanes

HANOI, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam Airlines, the country's national flag carrier, and the Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company (VALC) will buy 30 airplanes from Airbus, Vietnam News Agency reported Friday.

Under a contract signed here Friday, the airline will buy 10 A350-900 XWB and 10 A321 aircraft, and the VALC will purchase 10 A321.

The France-based plane maker will deliver the first A321 to Vietnam in 2012, and the first A350-900 in 2016.

The 10 aircraft purchased by the VALC will be rented by Vietnam Airlines for 12 years, said the agency.

Vietnam Airlines, which is currently operating 47 aircraft, plans to have a fleet of 86 by 2015 and 110 by 2020.

Vietnam's air industry served nearly 7.9 million domestic and foreign passengers in the first 11 months of this year, posting a year-on-year rise of 15.7 percent. Meanwhile, the industry transported 119,700 cargoes, up four percent, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

Vietnam's aviation market is expected to annually grow 12-14 percent in the 2006-2010 period, 9-11 percent in the 2010-2015 period, and 10-12 percent in the 2015-2020 period, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.