I’m so excited for this! Airbus and Vietnam Airlines held their delivery ceremony yesterday in Toulouse, France making Vietnam Airlines the second carrier in the world to operate the brand new Airbus A350 XWB. Though not as elaborate as Qatar’s A350 delivery ceremony with His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, the event went off without a hitch and the aircraft couldn’t look more beautiful in Vietnam Airlines’ new revised livery.
Vietnam Airlines will begin training and orientation flights of the aircraft starting next week on their Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) route before their inaugural flight from Hanoi to Paris on September 30, 2015. And guess what? I’m gonna be on it!!! Click here to find out how you can join me on the inaugural flight to Paris.
This A350-900 will be the first of many new A350s and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners that Vietnam Airlines will take delivery as it looks to completely replace its entire long-haul fleet by 2018. This is a huge step for the small and unassuming airline as they work towards revamping their brand image and reputation in the global aviation industry. Vietnam Airlines is a small airline with big dreams as they hope to become the second largest, full-service carrier in Southeast Asia (after Singapore Airlines) by 2020. Now those are some big dreams!
Vietnam Airlines’ A350 will be outfitted in three classes of service: Business, Premium Economy and Economy.
Business Class seats will be the standard Sogerma Solstys seats. They are staggered, forward facing seats in a 1-2-1 layout. Premium Economy seats are nothing special as they are the same seats as regular economy but with a few inches of additional legroom. However, the good news is that Vietnam Airlines has elected to go with a 3-3-3 layout in Premium Economy and Economy, thus giving all seats 18 inches of width.
Here’s a beautiful video made by Airbus showing the “behind the scenes” making of the Vietnam Airlines A350.
So who’s next? As reported by Australian Business Traveller, Finnair is next up to receive the A350 in October 2015, followed by Singapore Airlines in January 2016 and Cathay Pacific in February 2016. I don’t know about you guys but if you want to get on one of those inaugurals, you should start planning now. I’m thinking Singapore Airlines will be my top pick of the three.
What do you guys think?