NEW YORK: Vietnam Airlines has agreed to order General Electric engines to power its Boeing Co 787 Dreamliners, according to Vietnamese government officials.
The number of engines in the order could not be learned. The order is due to be formally announced next month in Brunei, Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade for Vietnam, saod.
For the 787 deal, “President Obama wants to witness the signing ceremony in Brunei,” Hoang said. General Electric declined to comment. Boeing said that Vietnam Airlines has existing orders for eight 787s and orders for another 11 787s through leasing companies.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, speaking through a translator, said he wanted to formally announce the details of the engine deal on Friday, but the White House had asked for the delay until October.
Separately, Dung said Vietnamese budget airline VietJet is in talks to buy Boeing 737 airplanes and that the contract should be signed soon. “The initial agreement, which is of Boeing 737 between VietJet and Boeing, is also another contract to be signed shortly,” Dung said.
The officials spoke at a Vietnam investment forum in New York sponsored by the International Economic Alliance and the Asia Society.
The prime minister’s comments highlighted questions around Vietnam’s expansion into regional aviation markets, coming just days after the country’s first privately owned airline placed a $9 billion Airbus order. Following the comments about a possible Boeing purchase by VietJet, the airline itself dampened the prospect of an imminent order with Boeing.