Boeing has confirmed an order for 50 737 Max 8 aircraft from Vietnam Airlines.

The Vietnamese flag carrier operates 15 Boeing 787 aircraft, but the rest of its fleet is currently made up of mainly Airbus planes – nearly 70 A321 Family aircraft and 14 A350s.

So the order is considered something of a coup for US manufacturer Boeing, with President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House officials and Vietnamese government leaders all present at the signing ceremony.

Boeing said that the Max aircraft would allow Vietnam Airlines to fly up to 3,500 nautical miles, “to serve increasingly popular international and regional routes”.

The carrier currently flies to around 50 destinations in 17 countries – Business Traveller last reviewed Vietnam Airlines flights in 2017, including a 787-9 service between Heathrow and Ho Chi Minh City, and A321 flights between Ho Chi Minh and Danang.

Commenting on the news Dang Ngoc Hoa, chairman of the board of directors of Vietnam Airlines, said:

“In line with Vietnam Airlines’ 2025-2030 fleet strategy and a vision to 2035, aircraft investment is a crucial project that underpins positive recovery momentum and prosperous outlook for the airline, said.

“The new narrow-body fleet will allow us to foster our overall development and extend our high-quality service on Vietnam Airlines’ domestic and Asian routes, as well as modernize our fuel-efficient fleet.”,