Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet has placed a firm order for 15 new A321XLR aircraft with European manufacturer Airbus.

When delivered in 2023, Vietjet will become one of the first carriers to operate Airbus’s new extra-long-range version.

The new aircraft has a range of up to 8,700km and is part of the company’s modernisation and international flight network expansion plans.

The aircraft is expected to fly on longer routes across Asia and to destinations in Australia and Russia.

Airbus chief executive officer Guillaume Faury said: “Vietjet is one of the fastest-growing carriers in the Asian region and we feel proud to have the A321XLR joining its fleet.

“This order is another strong endorsement of our decision to bring true long-range capability to the single-aisle market with the A321XLR, enabling airlines to extend their networks at the lowest possible cost. Furthermore, we are also pleased to develop further our collaboration with Vietjet in the area of training.”

Vietjet has also requested the conversion of five A321neo aircraft from its existing backlog.

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Two Airbus A320/A321 aircraft simulators (SIM) will be deployed for pilot and technician training at the Vietjet Aviation Academy in Ho Chi Minh City.

In addition, Airbus will be responsible to deliver several training services to the carrier and its instructors.

Vietjet president and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said: “Following the signing of this contract today, the new A321XLR will be the perfect upgrade to comprehensively modernise Vietjet’s fleet as we look to strongly grow our international flight network.”

The latest order takes Vietjet’s total order book with Airbus to 186 A320 family aircraft.