The growing importance of low-cost carriers in Asia-Pacific – and the A320 Family’s advantages in meeting their needs – was underscored with today’s Singapore Airshow announcement by VietJetAir for more than 100 jetliners in both the current engine option (CEO) and new engine option (NEO) versions.
Vice Chairwoman and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said the fleet of A320 aircraft currently operated by this Vietnam-based carrier already has contributed to significant operational cost savings for the young airline, and has become a preferred choice for passengers. VietJetAir was formed in 2011 and is the first private Vietnamese airline to operate domestic and international flights.
At a standing-room-only Singapore Airshow press conference, VietJetAir signed a purchase agreement for 42 A320neo, 14 A320ceo and seven A321ceo jetliners, plus 30 additional purchase rights. Eight more A320 Family aircraft will be leased from third-party lessors.
Dr. Dinh Viet Phuong, the airline’s Vice President - Business Development, explained that VietJetAir had captured a 26.2 percent domestic market share by the end of 2013, and became profitable in its second year of operation – serving 16 domestic routes and four international destinations with load factors of over 90 percent.
“Our new A320 aircraft will help VietJetAir implement a strategy of expanding its network, increasing the frequency of national and international flights, and contributing to promoting tourism and investment among the countries of Asia-Pacific,” he told reporters.
Airbus President and Chief Executive Office Fabrice Brégier said the predicted overall traffic growth of nearly six percent annually for Asia-Pacific during the next 20 years will be ever higher in Vietnam – with expectations for nearly a 10 percent increase year-on-year for the country.
“This is really impressive, and VietJetAir will contribute to the growth, being a rising star in Southeast Asia’s low cost market,” he added. “You offer a great value-based product, a high level of technical performance and – above all – you have a clear focus on achieving the lowest possible operating costs.”