VIETNAM AIRLINES WILL now take delivery of its first new Airbus A320 in early July, after finally reaching agreement with Region Air and leasing underwriters to register the aircraft locally.

Region Air of Singapore and Airbus, have been waiting to close the deal, to lease ten A320s since September 1995. Negotiations with financiers stalled over Vietnam's insistence on putting the aircraft on the local register, rather than that of the Seychelles.

Underwriters have now agreed, in return for the national carrier meeting certain undisclosed pre-conditions. The ten-year lease deal includes the option to purchase some or all of the A320s.

Eight aircraft are scheduled for delivery - four in July, two in August and one each in September and October. The final two aircraft will arrive in January 1997.

The aircraft will replace seven earlier wet-leased A320s, including three aircraft returned to Air France. As an interim measure, Air France has provided two A300B4s.

The airline, has completed taking delivery of three, leased Boeing 767-300ERs.

Source: Flight International