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National carrier signs loan for 4 new Airbus craft

Update: June, 01/2012 - 10:56

HCM CITY — The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and Eximbank yesterday signed a US$100-million loan agreement with a 10-year term for the purchase of four Airbus A321s.

According to a contract signed with Airbus, during the 2011 – 2014 period Vietnam Airlines was scheduled to buy a total of 26 aircraft, seven of which will be delivered this year.

"Despite the global economic recession, we are still committed to purchasing the aircraft on schedule," said Pham Ngoc Minh, general director of Vietnam Airlines.

The Eximbank loan will be used to purchase four of the seven planes.

Minh said the airline was confident that it would receive another loan this year to buy the other three planes scheduled to be delivered this year.

Minh said that more local banks had recently been offering loans to the airline to purchase planes.

In the past, Vietnam Airlines had called for loans from domestic banks to buy planes but credit conditions were not competitive, compared to foreign banks.

This is the first credit contract that Vietnam Airlines has signed with Eximbank, which is expected to open more cooperation opportunities between the two businesses.

Vietnam Airlines, which operates a fleet of 75 modern aircraft, flies to 20 local and 26 international destinations with more than 300 flights every day.

The national flag carrier plans to increase its fleet up to 115 planes by 2015 and 170 planes by 2020. Most of them are Boeing 777, 787, 789 and Airbus A330, A321 and A320 aircraft. — VNS

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