Inaugural arrival marks start of flag carrier’s nonstop Dreamliner services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
National carrier Vietnam Airlines today celebrated the much anticipated inaugural arrival into Heathrow of its first new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – with the UK’s hub airport becoming the first international destination on Vietnam Airlines’ network to be served by the new aircraft. After touching down at 0918 BST this morning, aircraft VN-A861 was officially welcomed by His Excellency Mr Nguyen Van Thao, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK; Mr Le Thanh Dzung, general manager UK & Ireland, Vietnam Airlines; and David O’Leary, head of customer relations and service at T4, Heathrow. Following a ceremony in Terminal 4’s SkyTeam Lounge, VIP guests were invited on board the aircraft for an exclusive tour of the stylish new high-tech cabin.
Pictured (l-r): Vietnam Airlines flight VN55 touches down at Heathrow; His Excellency Mr Nguyen Van Thao (centre left), Mr Le Thanh Dzung (centre), Mr Dang Anh Tuan, Director of Passenger Services Department, Vietnam Airlines (centre right) and the Vietnam Airlines flight crew prepare to cut the commemorative cake; His Excellency Mr Nguyen Van Thao (front left), Mr Le Thanh Dzung (front right) and the Vietnam Airlines flight crew try out the new Premium Economy cabin
As from yesterday, all of Vietnam Airlines’ five weekly nonstop services between Heathrow and Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City are now being operated by the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft – making it the first airline to operate the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner nonstop between Southeast Asia and Europe. Flight frequencies from Heathrow are scheduled to rise, initially to six flights per week, and subsequently to a daily service for Summer 2016, to meet demand.
Pictured (l-r): David Cook, Sales Manager UK & Ireland, Vietnam Airlines, Lesley Wright, General Manager Commercial UK, Insider Journeys, and Sam Olsen, Deputy Director Partnerships Team, UK Government Cabinet Office are shown around the new Business Class cabin; Vietnam Airlines’ new Economy cabin bathed in the Dreamliner’s rainbow lighting effect; VIP guests relax in the spacious new Premium Economy cabin.
To further mark this historic milestone, passengers travelling on Vietnam Airlines’ new enhanced Dreamliner services from Heathrow during their first week of operation are also being given special sets of traditional lacquer coasters as a commemorative gift.
In August 2015 Vietnam Airlines also became the first Asian airline to operate both Boeing and Airbus’ modern next-generation aircraft at the same time. A total of 19 Boeing 787s will be delivered to Vietnam Airlines by early 2019, as part of a major fleet upgrade programme which also includes 14 Airbus A350-900 XWBs. The new aircraft will replace the airline’s entire fleet of widebody aircraft, dramatically enhancing its product offering while also maintaining its cost-effectiveness on long-haul and intercontinental routes.
The latest extension to Boeing’s super-efficient 787 family, the B787-9 Dreamliner can fly farther, and with more passengers and more cargo, than the B787-8 – but with the same exceptional environmental performance: 20 per cent less fuel usage and 20 per cent fewer emissions than the aircraft it will replace. The new aircraft will feature fully flat beds in Business Class, with in-flight WiFi services also set to be introduced. Passengers in all three cabin classes will benefit from larger windows and stow bins, modern LED lighting, higher humidity and cleaner air, lower cabin pressure and a smoother, quieter ride.
Return fares from Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi currently start from £441 or £525 per person respectively, inclusive of taxes. For further information and reservations visit www.vietnamairlines.com.
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Notes to editors
As the national flag carrier of Vietnam, headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam Airlines operates 94 routes to 21 domestic and 29 international destinations with more than 360 flights daily. Operating a young fleet, mainly comprising Boeing 777s, Airbus A330s and Airbus A321s, the airline is expanding its fleet with next-generation aircraft such as Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350-900 XWBs. An official member of the SkyTeam Alliance since 10 June 2010, Vietnam Airlines was also the first representative of the alliance in South East Asia. Website: www.vietnamairlines.com. Vietnam Airlines® – Reach further.
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