Vietnam Airlines has switched an order for 16 Boeing 787-8s to the larger -9 model, citing the unexpected performance limitations of the -8.
“The -8 doesn’t meet the performance guarantee as they told me,” Vietnam Airlines CEO Pham Ngoc Minh told Flightglobal during a meeting of the SkyTeam alliance in New York. “We found the -8 is a heavy -8; it’s not the original -8 they committed to.” Minh added that the 787-8 would not be able to economically operate on routes between Vietnam and North America due to the added weight to the aircraft.
The carrier is now not expected to take delivery of its first 787 until 2015. Vietnam Airlines placed its first order for four 787-8s in 2005, and followed up with an order for four additional aircraft in 2007, while Vietnam Aircraft Leasing also ordered eight aircraft on behalf of the airline.