This summer, an unknown customer ordered 15 Airbus A321 XLRs. Now there are increasing signs that they are going to Vietjet.
With the A321 XLR, Airbus seems to hit a sweet spot among budget airlines. Of the more than 200 firm orders for the latest long-haul version of the Airbus A321 Neo to date, Air Asia X, Wizz Air, Frontier Airlines, Jetsmart, and Cebu Pacific amongst future operators are all low-cost carriers to mention a few. Now, one more will follow.
In August, an unknown customer ordered 15 A321 XLR aircraft. There is clear evidence that these will also be delivered to a low-cost carrier. The Vietnamese low-cost airline Vietjet happens to have ordered exactly 15 A321 XLRs from Airbus, reports Reuters. The news agency is referring to insiders. Airbus and the airline won’t comment.
Also 737 Max orders
The planes could be seamlessly integrated into the airline’s fleet. So far, Vietjet has only operated Airbus A320 Family aircraft. Since its founding in 2011, the low-cost carrier has been flying 22 A320s, 33 A321s and eleven A321 Neos. In addition, it ordered two hundred 737 Max planes from Boeing, none of which it has yet been able to receive.
With its many aircraft, Vietjet is pursuing an ambitious growth strategy. At 44 percent, the airline already has the largest market share in Vietnam. But it also wants to expand its international route network, which so far has been limited to Asia. The Airbus A321 XLR would be the first long-haul aircraft of the airline and allow non-stop flights to Australia. The airline has been targeting Oceania as a possible destination for some time now.
Talks with Australian airports
In March last year, Vietjet and Brisbane Airport signed a letter of intent providing for flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the Eastern Australian metropole. Last month, Sovico Group, the parent company of Vietjet, signed another letter of intent with Melbourne-Avalon Airport. It is currently only served by the Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar and Malaysian Air Asia X.