DALLAS — Vietnam Airlines (VN), the flag carrier of Vietnam, has announced a new order for 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This order marks a shift from their previous full-Airbus policy in the narrow-body section of their fleet, which currently consists of 65 Airbus A321 family airplanes.
The addition of the new Boeing aircraft will enable VN to enhance its overall development, provide high-quality service on domestic and Asian routes, and modernize its fuel-efficient fleet.
Boeing has expressed the significance of this order, which is one of the largest in Vietnam’s history, and further strengthens its longstanding collaboration with the airline, dating back to the delivery of the first Boeing 767 airplanes in 1995.
Ending Airbus’ Narrow-body Dominance
With the upcoming introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX, VN will now have a mixed fleet from the two largest aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus, for their narrow-body operations.
As a result of this order, Vietnam Airlines will incur expenses related to the training and certification of pilots for the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This is because the airline has not previously operated the Boeing 737 series on a regular long-term basis.
It has not been officially confirmed whether the Boeing 737 MAX will replace the oldest A321ceo aircraft in VN’s fleet, which currently has an average age of 11.8 years.
New Tool for Future Network Expansion
With the COVID-19 crisis rapidly recovering and the air travel market in Southeast Asia expanding at a fast pace, Vietnam Airlines sees the Boeing 737 MAX as an opportunity to tap into new route possibilities within the region.
The specific variant of the Boeing 737 MAX ordered by VN offers a range of 3,500 miles and a passenger capacity of 180. This combination allows for the operation of “long and skinny” flights from the main hubs in Hanoi (HAN) and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) to destinations that currently have lower demand and are located far from Vietnam.
By introducing the MAX family, VN will enhance its existing long-haul fleet, which currently consists of 14 Airbus A350-900 and 15 Boeing 787 aircraft. These long-haul jets regularly serve routes to Europe, Australia, and North America.
Featured image: Boeing