Aircraft abandoned in Hanoi airport worth over $73,000

By Doan Loan   October 14, 2019 | 12:50 am PT
Aircraft abandoned in Hanoi airport worth over $73,000
Royal Khmer Airlines Boeing 727-200 abandoned at Noi Bai airport, Hanoi. Photo courtesy of CAAV.
A valuer has determined that the Boeing-727 abandoned for 12 years at the Noi Bai airport is worth VND1.7 billion ($73,000).

The valuer, a local company, was hired recently by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) to conduct an appraisal of the aircraft in accordance with Vietnam’s law on public property, said Dinh Viet Thang, Director General of CAAV.

It had been said earlier that it was difficult to value the aircraft because of its lack of documentation, and because the B727-200 is a model that is no longer popular. Built decades ago, there was no aircraft to compare the abandoned plane to.

The CAAV had said that they would not hire foreign consultants to determine the value of the aircraft because it would cost more than what the aviation authority would get from auctioning the aircraft, Thang said.

Earlier, Hanoi-based TiffSon, a company that provides inventory solutions through bartering goods and services, had offered VND3 billion ($129,000) worth of beer, wine and confectionery for the abandoned aircraft.

More recently, a Hanoi nursing center suggested that the abandoned aircraft be used to allow seniors to experience what it's like being on a plane, and offered to exchange three nursing care packages for the B727.

But, Thang said: "There will be no bartering for the aircraft. It will be disposed of in accordance with the law. We have reported to higher authorities and are awaiting directions," Thang said.

The CAAV had proposed that the B727 be handed over to state-owned the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which runs 21 airports in the country, because the company has lost around $800,000 over storing the plane for 12 years.

This would allow ACV to "write off" the expense, or in other words, consider the expense an investment to purchase the aircraft. Further, auctioning the aircraft carries litigation risks if the buyer believes that the value of the aircraft was not equivalent to the money spent, Thang said.

The Boeing 727-200, which belonged to the Royal Khmer Airlines, had run into technical problems after carrying passengers to Hanoi's Noi Bai airport. It did not meet safety conditions to return to Siem Reap, and has been parked at Noi Bai since May 1, 2007.

The Cambodian airline went bankrupt soon after and left the plane in Hanoi, because it would cost too much to repair. Cambodian authorities have subsequently removed the aircraft from its national registry, allowing the CAAV to deal with the asset in accordance with Vietnamese law.

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