The US Eximbank will lend US$400 million to help Vietnam Airlines purchase four Boeing 787 aircraft, state media said, in what would be the first US loan to Vietnam after Hanoi secured its WTO membership.
Vietnam won a formal approval from the World Trade Organisation to become its 150th member in early 2007. In June 2005, the airlines signed a contract to buy four 787 Â¡Â°DreamlinerÂ¡Â± aircraft worth around $500 million at list prices for delivery in 2009 and 2010.
Vietnam Airlines has been working on a plan to open a direct flight to the US. The plan has been delayed to late next year from mid-2006 partly due to a shortage of aircraft.
In July the government told it to immediately prepare plans to buy 10 more Boeing 787s (either the 787-9 or 787-10 models) to expand its fleet, now with 40 aircraft.
The airline planned to have 60 aircraft by 2010 and 86 planes by 2015, CEO Nguyen Xuan Hien said.
Â¨C John Spiers