In an unexpected twist, Vietnam Airlines has selected the GE90-94B engine to power two Boeing 777-200ERs it is leasing from International Lease Finance. The move comes despite the fact that late last month Vietnam chose the Pratt & Whitney PW4084 for the four aircraft it has ordered directly from Boeing.

The decision means the GE90-equipped 777s will be the first to join the airline's fleet, in the second quarter of 2003. The first two P&W-powered twinjets will be delivered in August and September next year, followed by the third the following year, and the fourth in 2005.

Rolls-Royce, offering the Trent 800, failed to win any of the business.

The leased 777s will be high gross-weight models with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 297,800kg (656,000lb), requiring the 94,000lb (418kN)-thrust GE90-94B for non-stop flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Paris, France. The four P&W aircraft will have an MTOW of 263,300kg and 84,000lb-thrust PW4084Ds for use on shorter, intra-Asian routes.

Source: Flight International