Vietnam Airlines plans Dung Quat jet fuel purchase

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National carrier Vietnam Airlines said it plans to switch to locally-produced jet fuel to save transport costs.

Le Hoang Dung, spokesperson for Vietnam Airlines, said the carrier will give priority to local products and it is completing "necessary procedures" to buy Jet A1 fuel from the Dung Quat refinery.

Using local fuel will ease pressure for payment in foreign currencies and also cut the cost of transporting and storing imported fuel, he said.

The first 4,500-ton batch of jet fuel produced by Dung Quat was sold to a Singapore-based unit of BP on Tuesday.

The refinery is expected to produce between 200,000 and 300,000 tons of the fuel every year to be sold in both local and foreign markets.

Dung said Vietnam Airlines operates 300 flights every day and  has a huge demand for jet fuel. He said the carrier will have to check the quality of Dung Quat's jet fuel carefully before using it.

Another local airline, Jetstar Pacific, said it also plans to use local fuel products as long as they are of high quality.

"As the (Dung Quat's) fuel has just been exported, we want to wait for responses from foreign buyers," said Ta Huu Thanh, deputy general director of Jetstar Pacific. "It's very important to choose the right jet fuel because it's about the safety for a lot of people."

Jetstar Pacific is currently supplied by Vinapco, Vietnam's largest jet fuel supplier and a trading arm of Vietnam Airlines. Vinapco imports jet fuel from other Asian countries. It held a monopoly in the local market until February this year, when Petrolimex began selling fuel to airplanes.

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