Vietjet Air has chosen Airbus A330 aircraft for its widebody operations, making it the first widebody for the Vietnamese low-cost carrier, which currently operates all-Airbus A320 family aircraft. In a Vietnamese statement from 5 November, Vietjet said three leased A330s will be delivered starting in November. However, it did not specify the chosen A330 variant or who it will be leasing the aircraft from. Vietjet Air picks A330 for widebody operations.
The initial signs that Vietjet had chosen the A330ceo’s came from a 31 October statement posted on its website, where the carrier signed a $400 million deal with Rolls-Royce to supply Trent 700 engines, on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow. The Trent 700 is the exclusive powerplant on A330ceo.
Vietjet says the selection of the A330s widebodies falls under a strategic partnership agreement with Airbus, covering the contract for 119 aircraft ordered and an expansion of training for the carrier’s technical support team. Dinh Viet Phuong, Vietjet’s managing director, says the upcoming A330s will help to further improve the low-cost carrier’s operational quality, and better meet passenger needs.
But it is unclear if Vietjet Air will finally launch long-haul operations with the A330s, despite multiple news reports from 2017 quoting its deputy director for commercial, strategy, and planning, Jay Lingeswara, as saying that the carrier was exploring the option to operate long-haul flights. Besides orders for Airbus aircraft, Vietjet Air also has orders for up to 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 10 aircraft. Its current fleet consists of 18 Airbus A320ceo’s, 38 A321ceo’s, and 19 A321neo’s with six more on order. In 2017, the carrier announced its five-year growth strategy.
Vietjet inks $10 billion partnership agreement with Safran
Separately, Vietjet signed a partnership agreement with Safran on 3 November. Both Vietjet and Safran have agreed to extend their existing relationship into a strategic partnership, which will cover additional aircraft engine deals, and a variety of other aspects such as aircraft seats and interiors supply, says the European company.
Safran will also provide Vietjet with training programs, as well as support to establish maintenance, repair, and overhaul capabilities in Vietnam. At the same time, Safran’s electronics and defense arm will also “accelerate cooperation” with Vietjet on the Flight Data Analysis solution for the carrier’s entire fleet.
“We are very pleased to be an integral part of Vietjet’s growth strategy,” says Safran’s senior executive vice-president, international and public affairs, Alexandre Ziegler. “This agreement reflects the relationship of mutual trust between the airline and Safran and their recognition of our expertise and experience.”