Aircraft shortage to continue until late 2025

By Anh Tu   June 22, 2024 | 06:00 am PT
Aircraft shortage to continue until late 2025
Vietnam Airlines CEO Le Hong Ha speaks at the company's annual general meeting on June 21, 2024 in Hanoi. Photo courtesy of the airline
The aircraft shortage in Vietnam is set to persist until 2025-end since thousands of plane engines are waiting to be repaired around the world, Vietnam Airlines’ CEO has said.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting Friday, Le Hong Ha said due to issues with their Pratt & Whitney engines, Vietnam Airlines had grounded 11 Airbus A321neo aircraft, its workhorse in the domestic market.

Around 3,500 of the engines had been recalled globally, and their repairs took between 90 and 300 days on average.

Some engines in wide-body aircraft such as Airbus A350 and Boeing B787 were also affected, and Vietnam Airlines had between two and four of them.

In all, the carrier would ground 13-15 aircraft.

The global aircraft shortage would continue next year and might even linger until 2027, which was why aircraft lease prices had risen by 20-30%.

New Airbus and Boeing orders would not be delivered until 2030 or 2031.

Vietnam Airlines would therefore scrap plans to sell six Airbus A321neo aircraft it had approved last year.

But, in the long run, it was still considering buying 50 narrow-body aircraft after 2030.

Asked by a shareholder whether Vietnam Airlines would buy the Chinese-made Comac airplanes, Ha said it was monitoring the process of acquiring licenses to operate the Comac C919 globally.

So far only Chinese authorities have given licenses to operate it, he said.

The shortage of aircraft has driven up their airfares.

Deputy CEO Dang Anh Tuan said Vietnam Airlines’ domestic fares had increased by 15-17% year-on-year in the first four months of this year.

The company targets record revenues of VND80.98 trillion this year, but expects profits to be a marginal VND105 billion.

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