HANOI Dec 31 National carrier Vietnam
earned a gross profit of 370 billion dong ($23 million) this
year, up 6.4 percent from last year after revenues grew more
than 15 percent, it said in a statement.
Revenues of the state-run unlisted airline were estimated
to have risen 15.5 percent to 20.37 trillion dong, the
statement seen on Monday said, without detailing the annual net
The Hanoi-based airline, Vietnam's largest, carried more
than 8 million passengers in 2007, 2 percent above its initial
plan for the whole year, of which more than 3.2 million were
foreigners, the statement said.
Vietnam Airlines also carried 115,100 tonnes of cargo, up
8.2 percent from 2006, while its seat occupancy rate rose to
75.4 percent in 2007, from 71.2 percent last year.
Earlier this month the national carrier and an aircraft
leasing firm, in which it is one of five founding shareholders,
signed contracts with European planemaker EADS EAD.PA to buy
10 Airbus 350-900XWB passenger jets and 20 single-aisle A321
Vietnam expects air passenger traffic to more than double
to 32.4 million people by 2020 from 14.5 million a year now,
industry reports said.
Vietnam Airlines, pressed to keep up with demand as Vietnam
targets its economic growth at 9 percent next year after
growing 8.48 percent this year, said it planned to expand its
fleet to 110 by 2020, 74 of them from Airbus.
Last month, it bought four Boeing (BA.N) 787-8 Dreamliners
and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Co bought eight of the model.
Three other airlines in Vietnam are Pacific Airlines -- 30
percent owned by Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN.AX), VASCO and
VietJet Air, the country's first fully private airlines.
(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; editing by Kim Coghill)