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Vietnamese airlines order 40 Airbus jets for $6.5 billion

Staff Writer |
Vietnamese airlines plan to order 40 Airbus jets in deals worth an estimated $6.5 billion as they expand their fleets for a small but fast-growing market.

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Strong economic growth and a burgeoning middle class has increased demand for travel both domestically and abroad, spurring carriers to increase routes.

In deals announced at the start of a two-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation by French President Francois Hollande, Vietnam Airlines, the country's flagship carrier, reached a preliminary agreement for 10 A350 planes worth $3.1 billion.

The widebody aircraft will allow the airline to expand its long-haul network, beginning with services between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles.

Budget airline Jetstar Pacific - controlled by Vietnam Airlines and 30 percent owned by Australia's Qantas Airways (QAN.AX) - finalised its order for 10 A320 single-aisle planes valued at about $1 billion.

VietJet, the country's only private airline, placed a firm order for 20 A321s - worth $2.4 billion.

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