Sept 24 Vietnamese low-cost airline VietJet is
in talks with Airbus about an order for as many as 100
jets worth up to $10 billion, sources familiar with the
discussions said on Tuesday.
A French government source had expressed hope the
provisional deal would be signed in front of visiting Vietnamese
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Paris on Wednesday, setting
the stage for 60 firm orders for medium-haul aircraft as well as
options for 30 more.
But a source close to the airline said the package was still
being fine-tuned and the signing ceremony was in doubt as
further negotiation was needed.
"We need more time," the source said.
The order could involve between 92 and 100 A320 or A321
single-aisle aircraft, including both current and future
If confirmed, the deal would be the latest blockbuster order
from Asia's budget carriers for aircraft produced by Airbus and
its U.S. rival Boeing, highlighting a rapid shift towards
air travel that prompted Airbus to raise its long-term industry
forecasts on Tuesday.
Industry experts say VietJet has ambitious expansion plans
and hopes to duplicate the success of low-cost giants AirAsia
of Malaysia and Lion Air of Indonesia.
Those airlines have both signed record airliner orders in
the presence of European or U.S. leaders.
Meanwhile VietJet has signed a joint venture in Thailand and
is in talks for another in Myanmar.
Airbus declined to comment on the negotiations.