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No-frills airline Vietjet makes announcement following Vietnam’s closure of airspace to Boeing 737 MAX

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 15:44 GMT+7
No-frills airline Vietjet makes announcement following Vietnam’s closure of airspace to Boeing 737 MAX
A Vietjet plane is seen in this photo by Cong Trung / Tuoi Tre.

Vietjet does not operate any flights with Boeing 737 MAXs, only flying Airbus planes, the low-cost carrier said on Wednesday in a statement after Vietnam announced a ban on all the U.S.-made aircraft models the same day.

“We are currently operating with a fleet entirely composed of new Airbus aircraft from the A320 family,” Vietjet said.

“The average age of our fleet is 2.82 years.

“We are also using the latest generation of Airbus aircraft, the A320-A321neo.”

The carrier added that its operations meet the highest international standards with regard to safety and maintenance.

“We have complied with all of the regulations and met the latest standards which have been set out by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA) and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), including the approval of aircraft types for our operations,” Vietjet said.

The safety for passengers is always Vietjet’s highest priority, the airline asserted.

“Now we are closely monitoring the Boeing 737 MAX case and our decisions related to these aircraft will be made after the official conclusions and guidelines of the world’s aviation authorities and the CAAV,” Vietjet said, referring to a deadly crash on Sunday.

“We are doing this to ensure the development of our modern fleet and to meet the highest quality and safety standards. Vietjet has well managed our fleet so far and our transport business plans are unchanged.”

An Ethiopian Airlines flight, using a Boeing 737 MAX 8 and bound for Nairobi, Kenya, crashed six minutes after take-off, killing all 157 people on board and raising questions about the safety of the airplane, a new model the Ethiopian carrier just added to its fleet in January.

On the sidelines of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi last month, Vietjet signed an order to purchase 100 Boeing 737 MAX planes worth US$12.7 billion. 

The CAAV, which is Vietnam’s aviation watchdog, had announced on Wednesday a decision to temporarily suspend all flights using Boeing 737 MAX jets from its airspace to ensure passenger safety.

The ban takes effect from 10:00 am the same day until further notice, according to the CAAV, which will also stop approving new flight operations for services using the said aircraft.

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Viet Toan / Tuoi Tre News

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