Vietnam Airlines becomes second airline to take delivery of A350

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 1, 2015
Vietnam Airlines' first Airbus A350-900 in flight. (Airbus)
Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 in flight. (Airbus)

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.

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This first aircraft, VN-A886, has been leased from Amsterdam-based AerCap.

The delivery ceremony for Vietnam Airlines' first Airbus A350-900 at Toulouse. (Airbus)
The delivery ceremony for Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 at Toulouse. (Airbus)

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.”

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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.

Vietnam Airlines' first A350-900, VN-A886, at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. ( Airbus)
Vietnam Airlines’ first A350-900, VN-A886, at the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse. ( Airbus)
Vietnam Airlines takes delivery of its first A350-900 at Toulouse. (Airbus)
Vietnam Airlines’ first A350-900 taxiing at Toulouse. (Airbus)

Read more about the Airbus A350 in the July edition of Australian Aviation, on sale now.

3 Comments

  • Tony

    says:

    A300/310 wing centre box was integral with the circular section fuselage rather than the current preferred fuselage sitting on the wing with a large under fuselage fairing. A350 looks like it tried to minimise this drag increasing bulge.
    Could a more knowledgable reader enlighten me why Airbus abandoned their clever A300 wing centre box design? Please excuse my poor description of the differing design types.

  • NJP

    says:

    I wonder what the logic is spreading an order over A350-9s & B787-9s?

    Wouldn’t the overheads of two parts inventorys, not to mention crew training be so much higher than one airframe in its different variants -8, -9 &-10 if needed?

  • Kim Knight

    says:

    Tony, it would seem that there needs to be quite a bulge under the fuselage to accommodate those wide main undercarriage bogeys.

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