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.
- 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.