Boeing struck a new deal for 100 passenger jets with Vietnamese budget airline VietJet Aviation on Wednesday, deepening a battle for market share against rival Airbus in one of southeast Asia’s hottest markets.
Boeing and VietJet signed the provisional order for 100 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes worth almost $13 billion at list prices at the Farnborough Airshow in southern England.
Of these, 80 are the recently launched 737 MAX 10 - the largest version of Boeing’s best-selling 737 range - and 20 are the benchmark 737 MAX 8 model.
“The growth is incredibly strong in Southeast Asia,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister to Reuters. “VietJet is a major player there.”
"We are excited to introduce Boeing's newest 737 MAX 10 into our rapidly growing fleet. These new airplanes will fit perfectly into our growth strategy," said Madam Nguyễn Thị Phương Thảo, President and CEO of VietJet in an official statement.
As Vietnam’s first privately owned airline and first low-cost carrier in the country needed the planes to satisfy surging demand on high-dense domestic routes as well as popular routes throughout Asia.
Until then, VietJet ordered planes from Airbus, including a bumper order for 92 jets in December 2013. In 2016, VietJet finalised an order for 100 high-capacity 737 Max 8 jets.
Reuters reports, VietJet will become the largest MAX 10 customer in Asia once the deal is completed, with deliveries due in 2022-2025, the companies said.
According to Boeing, as part of the agreement, Boeing would partner with VietJet to enhance technical and engineering expertise and the training of pilots and technicians in Vietnam, helping to further develop the commercial aviation ecosystem in the growing country.
Boeing will also support VietJet in improving management capabilities at the airline and in the country.