HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Vietnam Airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 10 more A350-900 aircraft in Ha Noi on September 6.
The MoU was signed by President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines Duong Tri Thanh and Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Brégier and was witnessed by State President Tran Dai Quang and French President H.E. François Hollande, who is on a visit to Viet Nam.
Thanh said the intent to acquire these additional aircraft reflected VNA’s excellent experience with the A350 since it entered the carrier’s service last year.
“With its very long-range capability, economic fuel consumption and spacious cabin design, the A350 is the suitable aircraft for our proposed intercontinental routes to Europe and the United States. The start of non-stop transpacific services with the A350 is yet another example of the commitment we have at Vietnam Airlines to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading international carriers,” Thanh said.
Fabrice Brégier said the agreement further consolidated the A350’s position as the new long haul leader in the mid-size wide-body category.
He said the A350 XWB had, quite simply, set new standards in its class, combining unbeatable operating economics with the highest levels of passenger comfort.
“We look forward to working closely with Vietnam Airlines as it continues to develop its long haul network and strengthens its position in the premium market,” Brégier added.
Vietnam Airlines last year became the first airline in East Asia and the second in the world to operate the A350-900 XWB. The carrier already has four aircraft in service, with another 10 on firm order for future delivery. If today’s MOU becomes a reality, the additional 10 aircraft will enable Vietnam Airlines to operate flights non-stop to the United States, carrying 305 passengers in a three class premium layout.
Vietnam Airlines is operating the A350-900 XWB on international routes to Paris (France), Incheon (Korea) and Shanghai (China) and on the domestic route between Ha Noi and HCM City. The new generation aircraft is a crucial factor in ensuring Vietnam Airlines’ 4-star service quality, which could be upgraded to 5-star service in the near future.
Jetstar Pacific to buy 10 A320 CEOs
On the same day, low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific, a joint venture between Vietnam Airlines and Qantas Airways (Australia), officially signed a contract with Airbus to buy 10 new-gen Airbus A320 current engine option aircraft from Airbus.
The aircraft, which will be delivered in 2017, will help Jetstar Pacific expand its domestic and international flight network. Jetstar Pacific plans to increase its fleet to 30 Airbus A320 between 2016 and 2020. — VNS