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"This event is part of Vietnam Airlines' plan to purchase and upgrade its aircrafts. This deal will help Vietnam Airlines take the initiatives in stably exploiting and maintaining its service quality, and expanding flight networks," said a Vietnam Airlines representative.
The nation's flag air carrier has not disclosed the total number of aircraft it aims to acquire in 2013. The latest deal follows another $100 million contract inked in last May with Eximbank to finance purchase four A321 aircrafts.
At present, Vietnam Airlines has about 100 aircrafts. Plans call for its fleet to be raised to 115 by 2015, 170 by 2020 including environmental-friendly aircrafts like Boeing 777, Airbus A330, A321/320s/A350XWB and Boeing 787-9. The carrier is now operating more than 80 air routes to 20 local destinations and 26 international destinations with more than 300 flights every day.
Last June, Eximbank also decided to provide loans to Air Mekong in an amount representing 11 per cent of this carrier's charter capital. This move was part of Air Mekong's plan to increase its charter capital to VND600 billion ($28.84 million) in order to implement development plans over the next few years.
Eximbank would also support Air Mekong in leasing and purchasing aircrafts in order to raise its aircrafts to 10 over the next years. Besides, the bank would also support the airlines' infrastructure, service and commercial projects at airports. The two sides would also collaborate on air ticket payments, advertising and promotion programmes.
In other aviation news, HSBC Vietnam and Vietnam Airlines in late March 2013 began cooperation in an exciting alliance called HSBC Mileage Programme. Under which, every 45 points earned by HSBC gold/classic card is equivalent to one Vietnam Airlines mile, while platinum and premier cardholders get one mile for every 25 credit card reward points.
Furthermore, cardholders can pay for tickets within 12 months instead of the standard 45 days, while benefiting from 50 per cent lower than usual installment plan handling fees of 0.6 per cent per month.