8 JUNE 2015
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National carrier Vietnam Airlines has confirmed that the first of its new Boeing B787-9 Dreamliners has completed its maiden test flight. The newly-painted aircraft was flown by a Boeing aircrew which checked all of the aircraft’s systems during the 2hrs 36mins flight. The aircraft will undergo several more tests and a customer flight before being delivered to Vietnam Airlines.
As it rolls out a major fleet upgrade including a total of 19 B787s and 14 Airbus A350-900 XWBs (the first of which has also flown at Toulouse), Vietnam Airlines will become the initial airline in Asia to operate both Boeing and Airbus latest next-generation aircraft at the same time. The SkyTeam member will also be the first carrier to operate the 787-9 non-stop between Southeast Asia and Europe.
Although no actual introduction date has been confirmed as yet Heathrow becomes the primarily international destination on the Vietnam Airlines network to be served by the new aircraft. Frequencies will rise from four flights to six flights per week alternating daily between Heathrow and Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City following the deployment of the Dreamliner. For summer 2016 the service is daily.
Vietnam Airlines will introduce its new livery, corporate identity and brand image to coincide with the introduction of 787 fleet. www.vietnamairlines.com
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