Vietnam Airlines has signed a contract for 10 A350-900 XWBs, as well as for 10 additional A321s. This announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the aircraft on 1st October 2007 in the presence of Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam during his state visit to France. An additional ten A321s covered under the MOU have now been confirmed as firm orders for the new Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, in which Vietnam Airlines is a major shareholder. The respective contracts were signed in Hanoi today by Mr Pham Ngoc Minh, Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Airlines, and Mr Tran Long, Chief Executive Officer of Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer ? Customers. Vietnam Airlines has steadily and efficiently built a modern Airbus fleet in recent years and currently operates 10 A320s, 11 A321s and three A330s (two -200s and one -300) on an extensive regional and domestic network. Four previously ordered A321s are still to be delivered. "We thoroughly reviewed the A350 XWB programme, and we are very confident that this aircraft will set new standards of passenger comfort, operating economics and low emissions in our growing long-haul markets. The size of the A350-900 XWB responds very well to our expected traffic growth over the next decade," said Mr Nguyen Sy Hung, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines. "Our A330s already provide us with an excellent level of economics combined with superior passenger appeal. The A350 XWB will further consolidate our successful growth and long term development into the future." "Vietnam Airlines has been a strong partner for Airbus in Asia for many years and I am delighted that this relationship is now further strengthened with the airline becoming a strategic customer for the A350 XWB in the region,? said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer - Customers. "With orders for A321s from both Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company, Airbus is proud to be playing a central role in the continued modernization of the rapidly developing Vietnamese air transport industry.? The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) is Airbus? response to widespread market demand for a series of highly efficient medium-capacity long range wide-body aircraft. With a range of up to 8,300nm / 15,400km, it is available in three basic passenger versions: the A350-800 accommodating 270 passengers, the A350-900 seating 314, and the A350-1000 for 350 passengers. The A350 has the widest fuselage in its category, offering unprecedented levels of comfort, the lowest operating costs and lowest seat mile cost of any aircraft in this market segment. Powered by two new generation Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines delivering each up to 92,000 lbs of thrust, the A350 XWB Family is designed to confront the challenges of high fuel prices, rising passenger expectations, and environmental concerns. The A320 Family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321, is recognized as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Each aircraft features fly by wire controls and all share a unique cockpit and operational commonality across the range. Over 5,600 Airbus A320 Family aircraft have been sold and over 3,300 delivered to more than 200 operators worldwide, making it the worlds best selling commercial jet ever. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single aisle aircraft. In addition, the latest new cabin design saves on weight and offers the passenger a quieter and roomier experience, as well as significantly larger overhead stowage lockers. Uniquely, the A320 Family offers a containerized cargo system, which is compatible with the world wide standard wide body system. Airbus is an EADS company.