Vietnam: Vietnam Airlines reviews regional jet purchases, CSeries or E-Jet perhaps replacing ATRs

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Vietnam Airlines is studying the acquisition of regional jets, which would be used to replace ATR 72s on domestic routes and expand on short haul international routes. The group's evaluation of the Bombardier CSeries and Embraer E-Jet families - and potentially the Mitsubishi MRJ and Sukhoi Superjet - is significant, given the rarity of regional jet campaigns in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia is a large and fast-growing market that regional jet manufacturers have struggled to penetrate. Slot constraints and low average yields have been the main challenges. Vietnam shares these challenges, but there is a potential niche for a small jet at Vietnam Airlines given the need to replace ATR 72s in markets that cannot accommodate narrowbody aircraft, and the opportunity to right-size routes now served with A321s.

There has always been a role for regional aircraft in Vietnam, but in recent years the fleet has shrunk significantly. Regional aircraft manufacturers are keen to reverse the trend.

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