The Vietnamese airline Bamboo Airways should order twelve Boeing 777X aircraft by the summer of 2020. The contract, valued at around $5 billion at list price, would be good news for the manufacturer that did not receive any orders in January 2020.

Bamboo Airways’ president Trinh Van Quyet told Bloomberg on February 18, 2020, that the order would be placed in the second quarter of 2020. Neither the specific models nor the delivery dates were communicated.

Launched a little more than a year ago, the Vietnamese company currently operates a fleet of 22 Airbus single-aisle airliners and three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The fast-growing airline should have 50 aircraft by the end of the year, with a backlog of 46 more A3210neo and up to thirty Dreamliners to be leased.

In June 2019, rumors circulated that the Vietnamese newcomer could lease an A380 to open a new route towards the United States. This was made possible by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decision to grant Vietnam a Category 1 rating, allowing the nation’s carriers to fly to the U.S. and codeshare with local carriers. However, it is unclear if the carrier’s project is still on the table.

Reports indicate the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) could grant Category 1 rating to Vietnam “soon”, allowing the Southeast Asian nation’s airlines to fly to the U.S. and codeshare with American carriers. Vietnam’s efforts to gain the top safety ranking have been backed by U.S. giant Boeing, as the country’s airlines are major customers of both Boeing and Airbus jets.

The news also comes as a breath of fresh air for the 777x program. It would be the first since the aircraft’s maiden flight. On September 2019, during final load testing on a static 777X frame, a cargo door blew out, putting a temporary stop to the certification process. While initially, Boeing expected the incident would not have a “significant impact on aircraft design or on our overall test program schedule,” the company delayed the aircraft’s entry into service date to early-2021.

The delay led Emirates to convert 24 of its 777X orders into an order for 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners during Dubai Airshow, in November 2019. According to Boeing’s order book, the 777x program totaled 309 firm orders at the end of January 2020.

Seven years since the program was launched, Boeing’s newest, state-of-the-art airliner, featuring cutting-edge technology such as folding wingtips and the biggest turbine engine in the world, the Boeing 777X, finally embarked on its maiden flight, taking off for the first time on January 25, 2020.