Expanding fleet, VNA soars to new heights

November 17, 2017 | 11:27
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Adding 20 Airbus 321neo planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney's new-generation engine GTF to its aircraft fleet will improve the service quality of Vietnam Airlines (VNA).
The signing ceremony took place under the witness of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and US President Donald Trump

More planes, better engines

The $600-million purchase and guarantee contract for 44 PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines and the $1-billion memorandum of understanding on maintenance and repair of these engines signed by Vietnam Airlines Corporation and Pratt & Whitney is the most valuable deal signed during the official visit of US President Donald Trump to Vietnam.

Pratt & Whitney, a global leader in aircraft engines manufacturing over the world from America, is a long-standing partner of VNA. Since the early 1990s, Pratt & Whitney have been providing engines for Boeing767 planes, the most modern aircrafts in VNA’s fleet at the time.

There are a multitude of reasons that VNA chose the GTF engine of Pratt & Whitney. “The line of engines we have chosen will improve efficiency, save fuel, and is especially environmentally-friendly. Besides, the attached maintenance services will enable VNA to sharply increase the operational effectiveness as well as reduce the cost of operating flights,” said Duong Tri Thanh, CEO of VNA.

Related to plans to open a direct flight to the US, Thanh said the route will be operational either by the end of 2019 or by early 2020. At first, there will be four flights per week to Los Angeles and daily flights to the West Coast of the US after that.

High performance and ambitions

Few days ago, VNA was awarded the prestigious “CAPA Asia-Pacific Airline of the Year” award.

“Despite competition pressure in the domestic market, VNA has emerged as a successful and fast-growing airline. VNA’s dual brand strategy along with Jetstar Pacific and diversified international strategic relations have raised its position, significantly contributing to the successful equitisation and high profit of VNA,” said Peter Harbison, president of Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

“We consider this is motivation for “Reaching further,” confirming the corporation’s leading position and furthering our ambition of becoming the favourite airline in the Asia-Pacific,” said Le Hong Ha, executive vice president and director of VNA.

For many years, VNA’s financial indicators have exceeded company targets by a significant margin, especially after equitisation. In 2016, the corporation’s consolidated profit was $114.3 million, including $74.74 million from the parent company. The impressive business performance during the first nine months of 2017 resulted in a consolidated profit of over $101 million, exceeding the annual target by 40 per cent.

These are important foundations for VNA to complete its equitisation and the last phases of capital restructuring, aiming to reduce state-owned capital to 51 per cent by 2020.

VNA’s immediate goal is to successfully issue an additional 191.191 million shares for existing shareholders to rise its chartered capital, as well as list on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) under the ticker HVN in early 2018.

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By By Nguyen Huong

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