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Vietnam Airlines 787-9 makes spectacular flight over Washington DC

written by | July 7, 2015
Vietnam Airlines' first Boeing 787-9 flies past the Washington Monument. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 flies past the Washington Monument. (Boeing)

Vietnam Airlines has showed off its first Boeing 787-9 with a spectacular flight over Washington DC ahead the aircraft’s entry into service and signalled its interest in taking more Boeing aircraft by signing a “memorandum of collaboration”.

Although the airline was scheduled to formally take delivery of the first of 19 Dreamliners on order later in July, a special event was held at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport attended by the General Secretary of the Vietnam Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, who was making his first visit to the US.

Also among the 200 or so invited guests were Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner, government officials from both Vietnam and the US and invited media.


The memorandum of collaboration between the Skyteam member and Boeing covered eight 787-10s and eight 777-8Xs, Boeing said in a statement on July 6 (US time).

“Boeing and Vietnam Airlines will work together and report to government authorities before coming to official cooperation agreements in the future,” Boeing said.

Trong is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama on July 7. It will be the first time the Vietnamese Communist Party chief has met with a sitting US president since the two nations normalised diplomatic relations two decades ago.

On June 30, Vietnam Airlines became the second carrier to take delivery of the Airbus A350. The airline has ordered 14 A350s, with 10 to arrive from Airbus and four through lessors.

Vietnam Airlines' first Boeing 787-9 flies over Washington DC. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 flies over Washington DC. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787-9 lands at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 lands at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines' first Boeing 787-9 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Boeing)
Vietnam Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Boeing)

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  • GAGA


    Seems a bit odd that they’ve ordered both 787 and A350. Both coming into service at the same time too

  • Dave


    I wonder the reason behind running both A350 and 787. Doesn’t make sense to me

  • NJP


    Why order both B787&A350’s – aren’t they doubling their parts inventory & overheads versus sticking to one type?

  • Ben St Aubyn


    There is a very logical reason to buy both Airbus and Boeing – Vietnam ‘s traditional enemy China,
    The Vietnamese government is keeping it sweet with both EU and USA in case of future hostilities

  • Jk


    Trust me you don’t want to stick with one type of planes particular air traffic is growing because new planes tend to fault because of normal operation of business which aircraft companies don’t do for every route around the world. If one screws up then you got another type of aircraft to depend upon. Both should do well

  • Patrick


    The alternative to match the A359 in capacity is the 78-10 which does not have the legs (not to mention the elbow room).

  • Adrian F


    Read an article that states they have a memorandum of understanding with Boeing to get 8x 787-10 and 8x 777-8X too….

  • DCSpotter


    To nitpick a bit, the 789 didn’t fly over Washington, DC. It just flew from Washington Dulles to Washinigton Reagan National airport for the ceremony. It is the second time that a 787 flew to KDCA, the first being N787BX which landed at KDCA for a couple of days in May 2012 for members of the US Congress to visit it

    It’s worthwhile noting that widebodies can land at Reagan National, however, they would have trouble taxiing around so I can count with only one hand the number of widebodies that have visited it in the last decade.

    Another notable aspect is that this marks the first time a hand-over ceremony was held at KDCA. It could be that Boeing brought it there to add to the pressure to Congress to keep the US Export-Import Bank operating.

    The winds on Monday were from the South which means the approach was “River Visual”, leading to the excellent photos you saw of the 787. That said, all the aircraft follow the same approach which can lead to great photos like these (tooting my own horn 😉
    or when going the opposite direction, departure photos like this:

  • Alain Millett


    VN currently has A320, and B777 so a mix is continuing, makes sense. Travelled on VN they are a great airline

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