Boeing Co said Thursday December 30 that Vietnam Airlines would become the latest taker for its new 7E7 jetliner, with a plan to order four 7E7-8s to be delivered in 2010. The deal is valued at aboutUS$500 million at list prices, although airlines usually negotiate big discounts.
The announcement comes as Boeing races to meet its goal of securing 200 orders for the 7E7 by year’s end.
Including the deal with Vietnam Airlines, Boeing has announced agreements with eight airlines to buy 126 of the new widebody airplanes. But firm contracts are in place for just 56 planes.
Boeing said Thursday that it hopes to complete the sale with Vietnam Airlines in early 2005.
The deal with Vietnam follows an agreement announced Wednesday with Houston-based Continental Airlines Inc. to buy 10 of the new planes. The 7E7 is scheduled to enter service in 2008, and Continental would get its planes in 2009.
Analysts have said it won’t be serious if Boeing doesn’t make its self-set goal — as long as the orders start flowing in 2005. But the company’s chief nemesis, European rival Airbus SAS, may have made things more difficult by recently announcing plans to offer its own new airplane, the A350, to compete with the 7E7.
Chicago-based Boeing says its new plane will be more fuel-efficient and carry more cargo than similar airplanes now on the market.