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US Eximbank Agrees To Fund Vietnamese 787 Purchase

American military aviation came into its own as a military tool during the Vietnam conflict... and now it's helping to rebuild relations between Vietnam and the US.

The US export-import bank gave preliminary approval for a $400 million loan to help Vietnam Airlines purchase four of Boeing's 787 Dreamliners.

"The commitment of the credit guarantee by Eximbank for Vietnam Airlines is an important step in raising funds for the project to buy four new-generation Boeing 787-8s," Vietnam Airlines said, according to Reuters.

One of the airline's 777s is shown above.

More and more people are visiting Vietnam, and tourism is booming. Six-and-a-half million passengers traveled on the country's state-owned airline last year alone.

"This transaction will facilitate increased business and leisure travel to and from Vietnam, thereby contributing to the further economic growth of Vietnam," said US Ambassador Michael Marine.

Vietnam Airlines plans to double its fleet to meet an estimated 11-million passengers by 2015. Vietnam currently operates around 40 aircraft. The order from Boeing is in addition to an order for 10 Airbus aircraft scheduled for delivery later this year.

FMI: www.exim.gov/, www.vietnamairlines.com

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