Vietnam's budget carrier VietJet Air on December 16 agreed to an 800 million USD deal to buy 40 engines from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and Snecma, a unit of France's Safran SA.

These engines are superior in terms of performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. They will be installed in the Airbus A320/321.

The signing ceremony was honoured with the presence of US Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to Vietnam. The conclusion of this agreement is an important event in Kerry’s agenda.

Accordingly, besides covering 28 engines for the Airbus A320 and 12 for the A321 models, this agreement also provides authorised technical and maintaining services, and is considered a significant milestone in the comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.

The airline reached a 9.1 billion USD agreement on September 25 with Airbus company to buy 92 jets, mostly A320s, for delivery over the next eight years, in what was the latest major order by Southeast Asia's rapidly expanding airlines.

Founded in 2007, with their inaugural flight taking off on December 21, 2011, VietJet Air was the first private airline in Vietnam to operate domestic and international flights. Today the airline’s network covers 14 destinations within Vietnam, plus an international service to Bangkok. In its first two years, the airline received 3 million passengers.

Luu Duc Khanh, managing director of VietJet Air, as quoted by Vietnam Investment Review, stated in an interview last August that the airline had recorded a profit of 5.7 million USD in the first seven months of this year, and intended to develop into a multi-national aviation group.

VietJetAir is aiming for a stock market listing in either Hong Kong or Singapore in 2015 to fund expansion beyond Vietnam.-VNA