The Vietnamese Government has approved national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines' plan to buy three ATR 72-500 turboprops, in addition to two ATR 72-200s the airline is to lease from KLM uk.

The carrier, which already operates four ATR 72-200s, has finalised an agreement with the UK subsidiary of KLM, and delivery is expected in the coming weeks. The new aircraft are intended to serve domestic routes.

Delivery of the new ATR 72-500s will take place between mid-2001 and early 2004, although no agreement has yet been reached with ATR.

The airline's current fleet comprises 10 dry-leased Airbus A320s, six Boeing 767-300ERs, and two Fokker 70s, alongside the turboprops. Earlier this year, the airline said it was seeking approval to acquire two more Boeing 767s as well as the ATRs.

Source: Flight International