HANOI – Two Vietnamese budget airlines signed a $ 20.9 billion offer on Wednesday to buy Boeing aircraft and General Electric engines, helping their government address trading pressure from one of the high profile guests this week – US President Donald Trump.
The deal was signed at a presidential palace in Hanoi just after Trump met Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong. Trump is in the capital for his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who begins later in the day.
Vietjet Aviation agreed to buy 1
For Vietjet, the purchase is an important step to keep up with our higher capacity international aircraft platform expansion plan, says CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. The airline serves nearly 100 routes in Southeast and Northeast Asia, looking at new destinations in Australia and India, as it tries to grow in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.
Meanwhile, a new operator launched in January, Bamboo Airways also signed a contract to buy Boeing 787s worth more than $ 2.9 billion.
Hanoi has taken heat from the Trump administration, which is commissioned to reduce the US's major trade deficit and create more jobs on US soil. The purchases were known to be in the works, but having agreements entered into in Trump's presence, Vietnam apparently hopes to get rid of the president.
"We are going to sign some big trading customers, buy many different products from the US, which we appreciate," said Trump at the beginning of the meeting with Trong. appreciated the hospitality. Really something special. "
Vietnam is a thriving airline market, with the economy growing more than 6% a year. Over 100 million passengers used the country's airports in 2018, up 13% from the previous year.
"The economic expansion in Hanoi and over Vietnam is impressive," said Kevin McAllister, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes in a press release. "Vietjet and the country's emerging aviation sector are obviously enablers, which helps stimulate travel within Vietnam and connect Vietnam with the rest of Asia."
Vietnam Airlines is also thinking about buying 50 to 100 Boeing 737 Max jets this year to replace its Old Airbus fleet, Duong Tri Thanh, the state-owned carrier's managing director, told Bloomberg. The airline is also looking to buy long-distance jets to prepare for flights between the Southeast Asian country and California.