What's new

Vietnam Airlines Orders 50 Boeing 737 MAXs


Jun 18, 2012
Reaction score
Viet Nam

The Boeing 737 is the most popular commercial plane in the world

US President Joe Biden is currently visiting Vietnam, and has met with Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. During their meeting, it was revealed that government owned carrier Vietnam Airlines has placed an order for 50 Boeing 737 MAXs, worth $7.8 billion at list prices.

Additional details of the deal aren’t yet available, including which variants are being ordered, when the aircraft will be delivered, and if these are all firm orders, or include some options.

It’s not uncommon for aircraft orders to first be made public during important political events, and then the deal is announced at a later point between the airline and aircraft manufacturer. The announcement of the aircraft order came during a meeting about the new US & Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and the announcement of the new US & Vietnam Semiconductor Partnership.

This is a significant win for Boeing​

A Boeing 737 MAX order might not sound that exciting, given that it’s the most popular commercial aircraft in service. However, it is pretty noteworthy when you consider Vietnam Airlines’ narrow body fleet.

Prior to this order, Vietnam Airlines had no remaining narrow body aircraft on order, and the carrier currently has an all-Airbus narrow body fleet, consisting of 68 Airbus A321 family aircraft. This includes 48 A321ceos, and 20 A321neos. The A321ceos were delivered between 2007 and 2015, while the A321neos were delivered in 2019 and 2020.

I would imagine that the Boeing 737 MAXs will be replacing some of the Airbus A321ceos as they continue to age. The switch from Airbus to Boeing is pretty significant. In terms of fleet commonality (crew training, maintenance, etc.), it would have been a lot more efficient to maintain an all-Airbus narrow body fleet. However, that also comes with some risks, in the event that aircraft are grounded for any issues (as we saw with the Boeing 737 MAX grounding a couple of years back).

I’ve always found it interesting how Vietnam Airlines only has the largest variant of the A320 family of aircraft. I would imagine that Vietnam Airlines will pick up some Boeing 737 MAX 8s, which are a bit lower capacity than the A321s, since that seems like a gap in the carrier’s fleet.

Top Bottom