Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) is planning to induct in-house regional jets in 2023, although it has yet to decide whether it will opt for the E190/E195s or A220s, Chief Executive Le Hong Ha said during the Routes Asia 2022 conference.

He did not specify whether the study would focus on E1 or E2 generation aircraft and did not say how many jets would be added. However, the aircraft will only be inducted once the runway upgrade works at Con Dao and Dien Bien Phu airports are completed, likely by late 2023. Currently, neither can accommodate narrowbody jets, although Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi) serves both with its E190s.

The regional jets will replace seven ATR72-500s, currently operated on behalf of Vietnam Airlines by its subsidiary, VASCO - Vietnam Air Services (0V, Ho Chi Minh City), and which are 12.5 years old on average, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. They serve Ca Mau, Can Tho, Con Dao, Dien Bien Phu, Rach Gia, and Vinh City. Six are owned by the carrier, while the seventh is dry-leased through August 2022. The six owned units have been earmarked for sale, although for the time being, they all remain active. In March, Vietnam Airlines issued an RFP for the wet-lease of another two ATR72-500s as backup to the in-house turboprops.

Vietnam Airlines has very limited experience with in-house regional jets, having operated just two Fokker 70s between 1997 and 2014, the ch-aviation fleets history module shows. Currently, its smallest mainline aircraft are A321-200s. The airline tendered for the wet-lease of regional jets in 2021 but did not close any deals.

In contrast to Vietnam Airlines, the airline's domestic rival Bamboo Airways operates five in-house ERJ 190-100LRs.

In addition to regional jet expansion, Vietnam Airlines is also planning to strengthen its network to India, Ha disclosed. The Subcontinent is the largest untapped market for Viet Nam. The flag carrier plans to debut services to Delhi Int'l in mid-June 2022 and, should they prove successful, add Mumbai Int'l and Kolkata Int'l thereafter.