Vietnam Airlines (Hanoi) has become the second airline in the world to operate the all-new Airbus A350-900 XWB, following a special ceremony in Toulouse today (June 30).
The A350-900 aircraft was delivered to global lessor AerCap on lease to the airline for operation on long haul routes and is scheduled to arrive in Hanoi tomorrow. Altogether, Vietnam Airlines is set to acquire 14 A350-900 XWBs, including 10 ordered from Airbus and four from lessors.
Vietnam Airlines will inaugurate commercial service with the A350-900 XWB later this week, initially on the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh domestic sector and then on nonstop flights from Hanoi to Paris (CDG). The aircraft is configured with a premium three class layout, with 29 seats that convert to full flat beds in Business Class, 45 seats in Premium Economy and 231 in Economy. In addition to more personal space in all classes, the aircraft features the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems throughout.
Vietnam Airlines’ new A350-900 XWB will join an existing Airbus fleet of 59 aircraft flying with the carrier, comprising 49 A321s and 10 A330s.
AerCap is Airbus’ largest customer, and has ordered a cumulative total of 945 Airbus aircraft over the years. These include firm orders for a total of 20 A350 XWBs.
To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 781 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 40 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. The aircraft handed over today is the fifth A350 XWB to be delivered, following the type’s entry into commercial service with its first operator earlier this year.
Vietnam Airlines is also taking delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, an unique situation for an airline introducing two new types at the same time.
Photos: Airbus/Master Films-P. Masclet. Airbus A350-941 VN-A886 (msn 014) in pictured in flight in the updated 2014 livery.