HANOI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) completed deals on Friday to supply 12 Dreamliner planes to Vietnam Airlines and a new Vietnamese aircraft leasing company as the flag carrier moves toward ending its aircraft shortage.
Vietnam Airlines, under pressure to keep up with demand as the southeast Asian country’s economy grows at more than 8 percent a year and tourism and trade with it, has 46 aircraft but wants to almost double that to 86 by 2015.
Four of the Boeing B787-8 planes would go to the state-run unlisted carrier and eight to Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Joint Stock Company, of which Vietnam Airlines is one of five founding shareholders, officials said.
The deals amount to $1.9 billion based on catalogue prices.
The carrier signed draft agreements in late September and early October with Boeing Co and Airbus EAD.PA for passenger jets. Vietnam Airlines also has a 2005 contract with the U.S. company for delivery of four 787-8s in 2009 and 2010.
“You can see the fleet today and guess for the future but as an airline business our response to the market is we will operate the most modern and the most efficient fleet,” Pham Ngoc Minh, deputy director general of Vietnam Airlines said at a news conference.
Minh is also chairman of the leasing company, which said it would receive the first aircraft in 2016.
The government has said it wants Vietnam Airlines to finalise the agreement with Airbus to buy 10 Airbus A350-900XWB passenger jets and 20 single-aisle A321 jets before Dec. 21. (Reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by David Holmes)