Vietnam's FLC Group and Airbus have signed memorandum of understanding for 24 A321neos.
The aircraft would be delivered between 2022-2025 and will be operated by startup Vietnamese carrier, Bamboo Airways, which has yet to receive government approval, says FLC.
Should Bamboo Airways get off the ground, it has plans to order 24 A321LRs, pushing its fleet to 48.
"After studying and scrutinizing the options, FLC Group and Bamboo Airways have decided to order 24 aircraft from Airbus," says Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of FLC.
"After commissioning and testing in terms of performance, we will also consider further expansion options."
Airbus would not comment on the MoU when contacted by FlightGlobal.
FLC Group is involved in areas such as property development, finance, and mining.
In June 2017, Bamboo Airways told FlightGlobal that it will pursue a 'hybrid' model that involves "all the services of a traditional airline at a reasonable cost."
"We see huge potential in demand from both domestic and international tourists to Vietnam’s attractions, including provinces where FLC resorts are located," it said.
"Vietnam’s existing airlines only focus on providing services in major cities without paying much attention to direct routes to leisure destinations from international and domestic locations."
Bamboo Airways will avoid congested airports such as Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat and Hanoi's Noi Bai, and instead fly passengers direct to Quy Nhon, Quang Ninh, Haiphong, Thanh Hoa, Phu Quoc, and Nha Trang. It noted that while major airports are congested, several Vietnamese airports are operating under capacity.
Government approval for new carriers can be challenging in Vietnam. In April 2017, AirAsia said it would start a new joint venture carrier in Vietnam in 2018 after striking a deal with two local firms, but this plan remains stillborn.
Source: Cirium Dashboard