Vietnam Airlines to auction 11 Airbus A321s

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Vietnamese airline Vietnam Airlines has announced that it is preparing to auction off 11 Airbus A321 CEOs that have been in service with the airline for more than 12 years. In a bid to counter a loss of revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the common carrier plans to sell the planes later this year to increase its cash flow.

Vietnam Airlines is getting rid of some of its old Airbus A321s. Photo: Getty Images

Under the pretext of modernizing its fleet, this is not the first time that Vietnam Airlines has decided to sell planes to replenish its coffers. In 2019, it put five Airbus A321-200CEOs on sale. A year later, it repeated the move, putting nine more Airbus A321CEOs up for sale.

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Vietnam Airlines had a catastrophic first quarter

Under pressure to be delisted from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the Hanoi-based airline posted its largest quarterly loss in the first three months of 2021. The SkyTeam member airline lost $ 4.97 trillion VND ($ 216 million) in the first quarter of 2021., bringing its accumulated debt to VND 14.22 trillion ($ 620 million), which is slightly higher than its share capital.

Jetstar Pacific Vietnam Airlines getty
Vietnam Airlines sold A321s in 2019 and 2020. Photo: Getty Images

According to ch-aviation, Vietnam Airlines currently has 49 Airbus A321-200s, of which 27 are active while 22 are in storage. The rest of the Vietnam Airlines fleet is made up of the following aircraft:

  • 2 x Airbus A320neo
  • 20 x Airbus A321neo
  • 14 Airbus A350-900
  • 7 X ATR 72-500
  • 4 Boeing 787-10
  • 11 Boeing 787-9

Vietnam Airlines tests the IATA Health Pass

In other news related to Vietnam Airlines, the airline signed an agreement with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to test its digital international vaccination passport program.

The IATA Travel Pass app will allow passengers to store their COVID-19 vaccination certificates or verified COVID-19 PCR results on their smartphones. IATA says the Travel Pass app is more secure and efficient than current paper vaccine certificates and negative PCR test results.

The advantages of using the app are:

  • It allows governments to verify the authenticity of vaccination and test results by linking them directly to the identity of the person presenting the information.
  • It allows airlines to check whether or not a passenger meets necessary COVID-19 requirements before allowing them to board a flight.
  • It allows testing labs or vaccination agencies to issue digital certificates that governments and airlines recognize as proof of being vaccinated or testing negative for COVID-19.
  • It allows international travelers to prove that they have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19 by allowing them to securely transmit information to the airline they are traveling on and to border authorities at their destination.

Speaking about the initiative with the Vietnamese online newspaper, Vietnam Airlines VnExpress CEO Le Hong Ha said:

“The most important goal of the initiative is to rekindle people’s confidence in air travel and to ensure safe and smooth travel.”

IATA Travel Pass
The IATA Travel Pass will help Vietnam tourism to recover. Photo: IATA

So far, more than 30 airlines have signed up to use the IATA Travel Pass with Singapore, Panama and Estonia, also confirming that they will accept the app as proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 PCR test. .

Selling planes makes sense

Provided they can get a good price for the older planes they plan to auction off, that’s probably a good move, and as we can see from the airline’s fleet, 22 CEOs of Airbus A321 are in stock. As for the IATA Travel Pass, it is obvious and it will allow Vietnam to revive its important tourism sector.

What do you think of Vietnam Airlines selling some of its older planes to raise funds? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.


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