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Friday, January 23, 2015

Vietnam Airlines to move London operations to Heathrow on March 31

SkyTeam flyers will soon have another comfortable option to Southeast Asia

It took 7 years, but Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has finally secured slots at London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) and will shift its operations away from Gatwick Airport (LGW) beginning on March 31, 2015.

Image source: SkyTeam
VNA will be located in LHR's Terminal 4 with other SkyTeam alliance partners and giving Golden Lotus Plus (GLP) Platinum, SkyTeam Elite Plus, and premium class flyers access to the wonderful joint SkyTeam Lounge at LHR.

VNA has been flying to LGW since 2011. The 4-times weekly London service, split between Saigon (SGN) and Hanoi (HAN), is currently operated by the aging Boeing 777-200ER (B772) fleet, but will eventually see VNA's new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (B789) plying the route, with an eventual buildup to daily service.

An additional frequency from HAN will be added when VNA moves to LHR.

Read more: Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787: New Lie-Flat Seats in Business, 2 Different Economy Configurations

With the introduction of B789 service comes modern, lie-flat seats in business class, as well as a revamped economy cabin. However, premium economy will be not be available, at least initially, as VNA will receive its leased B789s first, which will not be equipped with a Deluxe Economy section.

VNA had previously announced its intention to begin revenue B789 service on July 1, but I feel that's a bit optimistic... I think August is a more realistic timeline.

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