Paris, March 28, 2018 – This week Vietnam Airlines has celebrated the delivery of its 11th Airbus A350-900 XWB at a ceremony in Orly airport (Paris). In the presence of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong the celebration also coincided with the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France.

As a leading airline in Vietnam’s aviation industry General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong congratulated Vietnam Airlines on the important milestones and achievements it has contributed to the development of connecting the two countries and continents.

Mastering the world’s most technological advanced aircraft

Vietnam Airlines is the only airline in Vietnam and the second in the world to successfully operate the most modern new-generation A350-900 XWB when they received their first delivery in 2015. This A350 fleet allows Vietnam Airlines to complete the intercontinental long-haul services which is a key factor to the success of the airline in the region. After nearly 3 years of operation, Vietnam Airlines has continued to set the highest standards of excellence and 4-star quality in the industry with their offering of 180-degree-flat seats on Business Class, innovative interior design, diversified entertainment programs and culinary delights.

This week’s delivery of the state-of-the-art A350 is the 11th out of an order for 14 A350 aircraft which will be completed by 2019 and is also the 74th Airbus and the 100th aircraft of their growing fleet. Since the receipt of the first A350 in July 2015, Vietnam Airlines has operated the aircraft on 13,000 flights, carrying more than 3,3 million passengers to 7 destinations including Hanoi/HCMC, Frankfurt (Germany), Haneda (Japan), Seoul (Korea) and Shanghai (China). Vietnam Airlines is considered as one of the world’s most successful operators of the A350s.

The 15-year journey of connecting Vietnam-France and the two continents
Vietnam Airlines is the first and only airline in Vietnam’s history to launch direct service to France which helps to improve aviation strategy and strengthen diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Since its establishment, Vietnam Airlines has put Europe at the heart of its operation and identified France as the main market and gateway to Europe. This strategic approach started in 1994 when Vietnam Airlines laid the foundation by opening a Vietnam Airlines representative office in France and began operating flights to Paris via Dubai by Boeing 767. Ten years later, Vietnam Airlines upgraded to Boeing 777-200R-the most modern aircraft at that time-to serve Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh city direct to Paris route, shortening the flight time to only 12 hours.

In the first decade, Vietnam Airlines transported about 820.000 passengers and this figure then saw an almost fourfold increase, reaching about 3,2 million passengers in the next 10 years after direct service was launched. By introducing the new-generation A350 with 4-star service quality and high frequency of 10 flights per week, Vietnam Airlines now occupies the first position in this route with passenger traffic of 72% and load factor of 85-90%. It is estimated that by the end of 2018 traffic volume will be over 4 million passengers and cargo freight volume will have reached 110 thousand tons.

Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines said: "This is a remarkable milestone for Vietnam Airlines as well as Vietnam's aviation industry in the 15 years of development. Opening of the strategic Vietnam-France direct flight in 2003 has taken Vietnam Airlines from a regional to a truly international airline, driving international integration in various areas such as politics, economics and culture. Besides the main mission of offering our passengers the outstanding levels of comfort and style that they expect from Vietnam Airlines, we are fully aware of our responsibilities such as reinforcing diplomatic relations between the two nations and spreading Vietnam’s culture around the globe.”

The Vietnam-France route marks a memorable milestone in the development of aviation industry in Vietnam. Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh City and Paris have become important gateways in the Vietnam - France, ASEAN/Indochina-France/Europe routes. Especially since 1994, export turnover between the two countries has substantially increased 10 fold compared to the previous decade and reached $ 4.6 billion in 2017. The average annual growth rate of foreign investment is about $ 2.8 billion, dominating the top European countries investing in Vietnam. Following the great success of the Vietnam-France route, Vietnam Airlines continued to open more routes to Germany and the UK and has expand its route network throughout Europe, contributing to Vietnam’s stable macro-economic development.