Vietnam Airlines to replace ATR aircraft fleet By Le Anh A Vietnam Airlines ATR 72 is parked at Phu Quoc International Airport – PHOTO: LE ANH HCMC – Vietnam Airlines is planning to gradually replace its ATR 72 twin turboprop passenger aircraft with jetliners configured with some 100 seats each to improve the effectiveness of its short-haul flights. The national flag carrier is considering Embraer’s E190-E2 and E175-E2 planes, Bombadier’s CRJ900/1000, the A220 of a joint venture between Airbus and Bombardier, Mitsubishi’s MRJ70/90 and Sukhoi Superjet 100. Compared with Airbus A321 aircraft, small jetliners are a good choice for domestic air routes and small airports such as Dien Bien, Con Dao and Rach Gia. Modern aircraft also help save 17.3% of fuel compared with previous-generation jets. In addition, each seat on these jets is equipped with a personal electricity socket. Passengers can also get free wifi access on these planes. The carrier had earlier announced a plan to upgrade its narrow-body Airbus A321 aircraft and expand the wide-body Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft fleet. According to Vietnam Airlines’ development plan in the 2021-2025 period, with a vision toward 2030, the airline will have 20 small planes. It may also wet-lease small jetliners in six months for trial operations before making a decision on their long-term use.