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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fleet Updates: Vietnam Receives A350; Postpones B787

Vietnam Airlines (VNA) earlier today took delivery of their very first Airbus A350-900 (A359). The aircraft is the first new widebody added to VNA's fleet in over 10 years, and alongside the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (B789), will mark the modernization of its long-haul fleet, currently consisting of Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s.

Photo courtesy Airbus/ATWOnline
VNA becomes only the second carrier to operate the A359, after Qatar Airways (QR), and has orders for 13 additional A359s.  The inaugural route will be from Hanoi (HAN) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) sometime in 3Q of this year.

As for the B789 delivery schedule, sources have confirmed that the handover will be delayed until July 24. There was reportedly a minor issue with the planned interior configuration, and changes had to be implemented before the aircraft received its airworthiness certificate.

This is the same aircraft, operated by Boeing pilots, that wowed spectators earlier this month at the Paris Air Show with a near-vertical takeoff.  Below is a video from Boeing on the preparation and warmup flights.

VNA plans on introducing the B789 on its London-Heathrow (LHR) routes.