Vietnam Airlines (VN, Hanoi) has submitted proposals for an order for fifty narrowbody aircraft with a further fifty options to the Vietnamese government for consideration, CEO Duong Tri Thanh told Bloomberg.

The carrier has still not decided between A320neo and B737 MAX, although Thanh said that the grounding of the Boeing aircraft "complicated" matters.

Vietnam Airlines is eyeing deliveries between 2021 and 2025. Thanh did not exclude the option that the initial aircraft would come from the lessors' order books due to the backlog of the manufacturers.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the Vietnamese flag carrier's narrowbody fleet currently consists of fifty-four A321-200s and eleven A321-200neo. The -200s are 8.3 years old on average. Vietnam Airlines owns all of its A321-200s.

In the short term, the carrier has also signed a lease agreement with ICBC Financial Leasing for three A320-200neo with deliveries planned from the second quarter of 2020.

Thanh said that Vietnam Airlines is also looking at replacing its six ATR72-500s (operated by VASCO - Vietnam Air Services) with either Bombardier Aerospace or Embraer regional jets. The carrier is planning to add around ten jets. It is considering ordering the aircraft directly from the manufacturers but could also initially resort to the lessors' order books to accelerate the deliveries.