​VietJet Air is acquiring 20 Airbus A321XLR through a combination of a fresh order placement and converting part of its existing order backlog.

VietJet Air is acquiring 20 Airbus A321XLR jets through a combination of a fresh order and conversions.

The Vietnamese low-cost airline will place a firm order for 15 aircraft and convert five on-order A321neos to the A321XLR, raising its order backlog to 186 A320-family aircraft, says Airbus.

With a range of up to 4,700nm (8,700km), the A321XLR will be capable of flying as far as Australia and Russia from Vietnam.

VietJet says it will receive the aircraft sometime in 2023.

No engine selection has been disclosed. VietJet has previously committed to Pratt & Whitney PW1100G powerplants but it is also a CFM International Leap customer through its agreements to take the Boeing 737 Max.

Under an agreement the airline has signed an agreement with Airbus Services, two new A320-family full-flight simulators will be placed at VietJet's training centre in Ho Chi Minh City, raising the number of simulators based there to three. A range of training services will be provided to the airline and its instructors.

"VietJet has always been a pioneer in operating new, modern, advanced and fuel-efficient aircraft," states the airline's chief executive Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. "We are proud of operating one of the world's youngest Airbus fleets with an average age of only 2.7 years and this has contributed greatly to VietJet's success over the past years.

"Following the signing of this contract, the new A321XLR will be the perfect upgrade to VietJet's fleet as we look to grow our international flight network. It's exciting to know that our passengers will soon enjoy flying on our comfortable, modern and cost-saving mid-haul flights."