Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways, which operates an all-Airbus fleet, will order 10 Boeing 787s planes while President Trump is in-country in a deal that would be worth $5.6 billion if airlines paid list prices for aircraft but they usually pay about half of list. Media report the bigger numbers anyway.
The nation’s flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is also considering an order of 50 – 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and choosing between Boeing and Airbus widebodies for flights to the U.S. now that they’ve received US government safety approval, although these orders won’t be placed until later this year. The majority government-owned airline and Delta partner expects to lose money on their Vietnam – California flights for 5 to 10 years and will require government subsidies.
Meanwhile VietJet is expected to sign a deal for 100 Boeing narrowbodies during the summit. They ordered 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft over the summer and it’s not yet clear whether this is a new order or firming of last year’s notional agreement. That order was for 80 737 MAX 10s and 20 737 MAX 8s, and list price on the aircraft is $12.7 billion
VietJet’s CEO became Southeast Asia’s first self-made female billionaire. The airline is a discount carrier flying narrowbody aircraft mostly domestically although with several routes now into Asia.
Six years ago the airline was fined 20 million Dong over unapproved inflight entertainment. It wasn’t a problem with the installation of a seatback video system. Instead, 5 bikini-clad candidates in a local beauty contest performed a dance onboard the airline’s inaugural flight to Nha Trang. The 3-minute show had not been approved in advance, it was deemed a violation of aviation and security regulations. And the airline was fine — the equivalent of $959.
Since then they’ve branded themselves the bikini airline. And the airline’s CEO sees the campaigns and onboard stunts as empowering. Vietnam has a very conservative culture, and the public bikini stunts rebel against traditional notions of female dress in that society.
Although when they start service to some Islamic destinations they have to promise those governments that their flight attendants will be fully clothed.
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VietJet had been an exclusive Airbus customer until President Obama visited Vietnam in 2016 and so far operate 64 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft and no Boeing jets. They have five times as many planes on order as in operation.
Even without the Export-Import Bank giving Boeing’s business a boost, the US government is still their chief benefactor. And in the case of VietJet you might even say the President grabbed these orders by the…