Airbus moves closer to an agreement to sell A330neo to VietJet – sources – 02/21/2024 at 6:54 p.m.

((Automated translation by Reuters, please see disclaimer

(Added fleet, separate airliner litigation and airline statement, paragraphs 1-2, 7-20) by Tim Hepher and Lisa Barrington

European planemaker Airbus AIR.PA is close to a provisional agreement for the sale of around 20 A330neo wide-body jets to low-cost Vietnamese airline VietJet VJC.HM , industry sources said on Wednesday.

The multibillion-dollar commitment could be announced as early as Thursday at the Singapore Airshow, they said, noting that it would be the largest aircraft order to date at the world’s biggest aerospace event. ‘Asia.

Airbus declined to comment on possible commercial negotiations and VietJet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Demand for wide-bodies is booming as air travel resumes after the pandemic, although the show was overshadowed by a warning from national carrier Singapore Airlines SIAL.SI that fares are now under pressure from the overcapacity.

VietJet, one of Asia’s largest low-cost carriers, already operates an earlier version of the A330, designed for long hauls. It took delivery of its first wide-body aircraft, an A330, in December 2021.

Previously, at the Singapore Airshow on Wednesday, VietJet said it had chosen the RTX RTX.N Pratt & Whitney unit to power 19 narrow-body Airbus A321neo aircraft.

According to industry sources, the aircraft are among dozens of similar jets that the budget airline has already ordered.

Airbus is keen to extend sales of its A330neo to cushion upgrade costs and preserve its A330 range, which the newer A350 is gradually replacing.

The latest deal highlights the growth of VietJet, which said on Wednesday it was expanding to destinations including Australia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand.

The carrier has ordered some 108 Airbus and 200 Boeing aircraft, according to the websites of the two manufacturers.


The agreement coincides with another dispute relating to the takeover of four small Airbuses.

Last week, a British judge ordered VietJet to refrain from interfering with the export of four A321neos recovered by FW Aviation (FWA), which claims the airline has not paid its rent since 2021.

The lessor, part of the London-based FitzWalter Capital group, accused VietJet of thwarting an internationally agreed repossession process by interfering behind the scenes with efforts to physically export the grounded jets from Vietnam.

VietJet this week denied hindering the repossession of the four jets and blamed the delays on procedural errors by the lessor.

The airline said in a statement that it remained committed to continuing to meet its legal obligations.

“At a time when there is significant demand for these aircraft, the attempt to pin responsibility on Vietjet is absolutely refuted,” the company said in its statement.

The dispute has been brought before courts in London, Singapore and Hanoi and is seen as a test for the rights of lessors in Vietnam, which has hundreds of jets on order, as well as broader leasing rules known as of Cape Town Convention.

Last year, the Aviation Working Group, a UK-based entity that monitors funding laws on behalf of aircraft manufacturers and lessors, placed Vietnam on a watch list due to its adherence to the Cape Town Treaty. . He reaffirmed this decision in October, stating that the procedure followed by the lessor was valid.

VietJet said that “contrary to reports (the FWA case) saw the Cape Town Convention operating effectively in Vietnam.”

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