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Antaras
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Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Wed Jul 14, 2021 11:50 pm

Vietnam Airlines just had its shareholder meeting and announced some big plans, including the future retirement of all of its six ATR 72-500.
https://tuoitre.vn/vietnam-airlines-ban ... 223541.htm
At the annual general meeting of shareholders of Vietnam Airlines on the morning of July 14, shareholders approved the sale of 6 ATR 72-500 which are being operated by VN itself and its regional subsidiary VASCO. The ATR 72 fleet will be replaced by a newer fleet of small-size jets (regional jets) to help VN competing better on regional routes to small airports.

According to Mr. Nguyen Chien Thang - deputy general director of Vietnam Airlines, the airline currently owns 6 12-year-old ATR 72 aircraft and 1 leased airframe that the contract will expire in August 2022. The ATR 72 fleet is operated on routes to regional airports that cannot handle bigger narrowbody aircraft such as Con Dao (VCS), Kien Giang (VKG), Ca Mau (CAH), and Dien Bien (DIN).

The plan to sell ATR 72 aircraft is part of Vietnam Airlines' fleet renewal policy to gradually replace old generation aircraft with new generation aircraft, saving costs, ensuring stable operation and improvement. service quality, compete directly with competitors (Bamboo Airways).

Mr. Le Hong Ha - General Director of VN - added that since 2019 the airline has been researching aircraft that can replace the ATR 72-500. In particular, the type of small-size jet (so-called Regional Jet) is evaluated as suitable to replace the ATR 72 - a type of propeller aircraft which has slow speed and very limited operating range. However, no specific types of aircraft were mentioned.


So basically:
  • The retirement of VN/VASCO's fleet of AT75 is now officially confirmed and approved by the management board and the shareholders.
  • Regional jet is now chosen as the replacement for the fleet.
  • The retirement and sale will not effective immediately as there is still no replacement announced or revealed for the fleet. As mentioned, we know nothing about the type of aircraft to be chosen except it is the regional jet series. We could not also know if VN has decided anything or not.

So this is one of the latest moves on VN's fleet plans, and finally, after years hinting about the retirement, now VN at least could do something and give us a confirmation. However, as mentioned, we don't know which one will VN choose to replace those old aircraft. Besides that, we can clearly see VN's effort to compete with Bamboo (QH) on regional routes, who completely "invaded" VN/VASCO's regional market after the introduction of its Embraer fleet.

How do you think about the plan? Which type of aircraft do you think VN will choose? I bet my money on a very potential Embraer E2 acquisition, as it seems like the only choice that VN is having at this moment when the A220 was considered as too big and heavy by VN itself, the Sukhoi SJ100 is not reliable while the Mitsubishi SpaceJet project is not having a very bright future also. Besides that, as the Embraer is now operating in Vietnam by QH with a bunch of wet-leased E195 (all expired and returned), with a fleet of dry-leased E190 and some more E175 is coming also, the performance and capability of the ERJ is proven as suitable and excellent in the Vietnamese market, I highly believe that Embraer will definitely get something from VN. It is possible that VN may start with a fleet of the second-hand leased E175/E190 in short term first before moving on with the E2 acquisition. (Noted that the E195 (both E1 and E2) is a bit so big to operate in many Vietnamese small airports, as QH experienced limited loading on routes to VCS and it has moved to the smaller E190 and E175, and VN itself mentioned that the A220 was too big so the similar-size E195, especially the E2, wouldn't so suitable).

In any way, sure that the ATR 72 will be retired from the fleet soon after nearly 30 years serving in the VN Group's fleet.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:40 am

I thought VN was almost bankrupt or something ?
 
asuflyer
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:20 am

VN's ATR have seen better days, in the past few years have really began to look very tired both inside and out and delays for MX are very common.
 
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Antaras
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 4:28 am

Aesma wrote:
I thought VN was almost bankrupt or something ?

So they need to sell them to get money and gome some better one to maximize the profit. Don't forget that it is losing its regional market because it is still operating the ATR.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 11:31 am

Those AT75s could make for good freighter conversions. I wonder if the E2 E-Jet might be a replacement, and if QH is also looking there too. Bamboo Airways is the first carrier to challenge VASCO in that market head-onZ
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 12:55 pm

Why VN need replacement?
It only have 2 ATR and it would be better to serve by A320
 
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Antaras
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:04 pm

chunhimlai wrote:
Why VN need replacement?
It only have 2 ATR and it would be better to serve by A320

And five operated under VASCO livery and brand.

And Vietnam has a lot of small regional airports which have limited capability to handle bigger aircraft such as A320. Just this time last year, VN/VASCO was still having a monopolism in the regional market as it is the only carrier that operates regional aircraft (AT75), however, Bamboo came and grabbed everything with its fleet of Embraer E1.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:36 pm

A 'developing' country, 1600 km north to south with just 100 miles of standard-gauge railway and 1,000 miles of freeway -- and even they don't want props!
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 1:37 pm

Antaras wrote:
Bamboo came and grabbed everything with its fleet of Embraer E1.


This sums it up. E1s are cheap enough to displace turboprops now. Going forward, since there won't be a current generation turboprop before 2030, I expect the higher utilization half of the market to go towards E2/A220 in the coming years (assuming some post 2019 market growth in the coming years).

The moderate utilization will happily fly E1s. Small players and low utilization flying should stick with turboprops.

Lightsaber
 
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Antaras
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:47 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
and even they don't want props!

Well, this is what has been happening in Vietnam. VN/VASCO is unable to compete with Bamboo on specific regional routes just because Bamboo operates Embraer E190/195 and VASCO is still flying the ATR 72 :D

The market has shown their choice, sure that VN/VASCO would choose to go with the market instead of standing their and relying on its not-very-comfortable-AT75 :roll:
 
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Antaras
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:55 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Bamboo Airways is the first carrier to challenge VASCO in that market head-on

It was Air Mekong (partly owned by SkyWest) who was the first one challenging VASCO's regional market with its fleet of CRJ-900 and a focus on regional airports such as VCS and the un-upgraded PQC.
Launched in 2010, shortly after that, Air Mekong bankrupted in 2013 due to poor tactics, and the CRJ9 was criticized as "not giving an expected performance to the carrier".


But yes, Bamboo was the first successful one.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:06 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
A 'developing' country, 1600 km north to south with just 100 miles of standard-gauge railway and 1,000 miles of freeway -- and even they don't want props!

The north-south railway is fairly usable for overnight travel, though, and the highways are in pretty good shape too. Vietnam may be a 'developing' country but with decent infrastructure all around. Thanks to its shape and population distribution, it doesn't need that many miles of railway or freeway.

The same sadly cannot be said about her neighbours, Cambodia and Laos.
 
cpthuy
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Re: Vietnam Airlines Group approved plan to sell and retire entire fleet of ATR 72

Fri Jul 16, 2021 12:33 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
A 'developing' country, 1600 km north to south with just 100 miles of standard-gauge railway and 1,000 miles of freeway -- and even they don't want props!

Because of the 1600km north-south, and there are a few regional airports located both in the north and south that can't handle A320, props aren't as effective as regional jets when it comes to VNA's double hubs. They can't do HAN-VKG/CAH/VCS or SGN-DIN that the regional jets could.

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