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Vietnam Airlines – New Airliners To Keep Up With Demand

September 18, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

In late August Vietnam Airlines took delivery of its eighth Airbus A350 – 900 and continues to increase and update the fleet to keep ahead of the massive increase in visitors to the country. By 2019 the company expects to expand its A350 fleet to 14.

The total number of tourists to Vietnam in the first seven months of 2017 was a colossal 7.24 million, up by a considerable 28.8 per cent year on year. Envious results for any destination. The majority of these tourists are from Asia followed by Europe and America.  The tourism body expects the country to be the top destination in Southeast Asia by 2030.

I am penning this piece on flight 772 Sydney to Ho Chi Min City on one of the carriers 11- B787-9 with a 28 business (1-2-1) 35 premium economy (2-3-2) and 211 economy (3-4-3) seats. I am in 10C in the premium economy cabin behind business with a bulk head but plenty of leg room.  It’s a daytime flight about eight hours and economy is pretty full but there are assorted available seats in premium economy and business.

VN Dreamliner

I had gone on line to Option Town for an upgrade from economy and the reservations supervisor at check in informed me it had come through.  She was a very busy lady, fielding seating baggage lounge access and load inquiries but she handled it with ease. Her main mission was to get the flight out on time.  We were only about five minutes behind schedule and that was because of the usual long line of carriers who hit the sky between 9 and 11 am.

Although the food offerings are exactly the same they have a premium economy and economy cover on the menu.  Lunch was a Salmon and mixed leaf salad followed by beef and oyster sauce with egg noodles or Kung Po chicken and steamed rice and for desert Banana cake. Bar service was swift with the usual array of spirits cocktails and beers. About three hours out we are again re-visited by the trolley this time offering pork and chicken. The pork, vegies and rice was delicious.

Last month VN and Indonesian flag carrier, Garuda signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their current partnership with code sharing, maintenance, repair and overhaul plus the cargo areas.

The airline distributes Heritage, a very glossy inflight magazine that offers overviews on destinations VN service and other tips for flying.  The airline is a member of Sky team with 20 international members. Membership offers many options to fast track airline procedures like Sky Priority. The frequent flyer scheme is Lotus Miles.

Vietnam is one of the most popular Asian destinations for Australians in particular and others from around the globe. Whilst there are a number of carriers that service Vietnam they are hard pressed to provide a better service (especially from Australia) than the national carrier.

Visitation by Australian’s is increasing at a rapid rate as the destinations continues to provide visitors with all components necessary for a cost effective and enjoyable holiday. Vietnam continues to enjoy a love affair with Australian travelers.

Currently Vietnam has more than 6 million International arrivals yearly.

The Vietnam Ministry of Tourism some years ago implemented a plan to increase visitation up to 2020. The strategy focuses on the international and domestic tourism markets. Australia and New Zealand are among the main targets along with Japan, Korea, China Taiwan and South East Asia.

With a population of 90 million, Vietnam was established as a Democratic Republic in 1945 when Ho Chi Minh declared independence. It is located on the eastern seaboard of the Indochina peninsula and has borders with China, Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnam Airlines started with five aircraft in 1956 and now has nearly 100 in its modern fleet. It has daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne.

For further information and bookings go to www.vietnamairlines.com T 1300888028

Verdict: Up there with some of the more recognised full service airlines.  Service, food, seating and attention is commendable.  Sometimes communication falters slightly but that is so on most flights with attendant whose first language is not English.

Written by John Savage

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