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Vietnam Airlines plans to sell super-aircraft

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam Airlines, the national flag air carrier, is seeking shareholders’ approval for the sale of three Airbus A350s it would receive in 2016-2017.
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam Airlines, the national flag air carrier, is seeking shareholders’ approval for the sale of three Airbus A350s it would receive in 2016-2017.

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The air carrier now nurtures two important plans 1) selling two Boeing B777-2000ERs and 2) selling and then leasing back three A350s it expects to receive in 2016-2017 under an aircraft purchase plan signed with Airbus.

Vietnam Airlines once had to spend much time and effort to persuade the government to agree on the A350 aircraft procurement deal. 

It said the purchase of new super-aircraft is part of the plan to expand the fleet.

Now, explaining the decision on selling the super-aircraft, which still have not been delivered, a Vietnam Airlines’ representative attributes it to pressure on the public debt.

Vietnam Airlines has rethought its plan after checking its borrowing in an effort to gradually reduce government guaranteed loans. It planned to buy the aircraft with commercial loans and government-guaranteed loans.

The air carrier now nurtures two important plans 1) selling two Boeing B777-2000ERs and 2) selling and then leasing back three A350s it expects to receive in 2016-2017 under an aircraft purchase plan signed with Airbus.

Regarding the plan to sell Boeing 777-2000ERs, the representative said the aircrafts, after being used for 12-13 years, have fulfilled their missions, making an important contribution to a development period of the airline.

Prior to that, the Prime Minister approved Vietnam Airlines’ plan to renovate the fleet by replacing Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 with Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

Nguyen Van Ngai, Economics Dean of the HCM City Agriculture and Forestry University, commented that Vietnam Airlines wants to sell aircraft because it anticipates ineffective exploitation. 

The expert noted that of the two solutions – chartering and buying – Vietnam Airlines prefers the latter because this allows it to take initiative in aircraft exploitation.

Nguyen Van Nam, former head of the Trade Research Institute, also commented that as Vietnam Airlines wants to sell the aircraft it has just purchased, people would think that the air carrier might take a loss.

Meanwhile, Lai Xuan Thanh, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), has said that buying and selling aircrafts is a part of the normal operation of an airline. 

“I can say for sure that the sale and lease back only relates to the financial restructuring, while this will in no way affect the business plan drawn up before,” Thanh said.

With the sale and lease back, there would be change in the number of aircraft Vietnam Airlines owns, but it will still be able to use the aircraft it wants. 

Thanh also affirmed that there was no need to worry about the loss with the aircraft sale. “If they (Vietnam Airlines) can negotiate well, they can even make a profit,” he said.


Dat Viet


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