Vietnam International Bank to finance Vietnam Airlines A321

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Vietnam International Bank has agreed to finance one Airbus A321 bought by Vietnam Airlines, marking its first foray into the aircraft financing market.

The Vietnamese bank says it will provide $48 million over 10 years for the aircraft, a move that marks a "milestone" for an airline that has previously financed its aircraft with institutions outside the country.

"Competition in the financial sector is getting fiercer and fiercer, especially from foreign credit institutions and banks," says Pham Ngoc Minh, chief executive of Vietnam Airlines.

VIB has supplied short-term working capital to the SkyTeam alliance member and this is the first long-term commercial loan between the two companies.

Vietnam Airlines has 36 A321s in its fleet and another 20 on order, according to Flightglobal Pro data. The airline says the new A321s will help it to modernise its fleet and expand its domestic and international services.