Vietnam Airlines has become the the second airline to take delivery of the Airbus A350.
The Skyteam member accepted its first A350-900 at the official handover ceremony at Airbus’s headquarters in Toulouse, France, on Tuesday morning (European time).
The airline has ordered 14 A350s, with 10 to arrive from Airbus and four through lessors.
This first aircraft, VN-A886, has been leased from Amsterdam-based AerCap.
Vietnam Airlines executive vice president for commercial Trinh Ngoc Thanh said the A350 would enable passengers would “fly in style” in all three classes of travel.
“We are proud to be the second airline in the world to receive the A350 XWB aircraft which is a step forward that helps us to fulfil our commitment to ‘reach further’,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The arrival of the A350 XWB marks the start of a major upgrade of our long haul fleet.”
Vietnam Airlines was expected to begin commercial service with the A350 by the end of the week, starting with flights between the nation’s two biggest cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, before deploying the aircraft on the Hanoi-Paris and Ho Chi Minh-Paris routes.
Currently, the airline uses Boeing 777-200ERs to the French capital.
The airline has configured its A350 cabins with 29 seats in business class, 45 seats in premium economy and 231 seats in economy.
In addition to the A350, Vietnam Airlines has also ordered 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
Qantas places its QF airline code on Vietnam Airlines’ flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Ho Chi Minh City.
Finnair and TAM were expected to take delivery of their first A350 before the end of 2015.
Qatar Airways, which was the launch customer for the type, took the first four A350s that were delivered.
Read more about the Airbus A350 in the July edition of Australian Aviation, on sale now.