Vietnam Airlines now flying A350 to Tokyo

A350 XWB Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines has begun flying its Airbus A350-900XWB from Hanoi to Tokyo Haneda, the airline’s fifth destination to be serviced by the aircraft.

The Vietnamese carrier first began flying the aircraft on its Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City-Paris and Hanoi-Seoul routes in October 2015, followed by its Ho Chi Minh City-Shanghai route in April 2016 and Ho Chi Minh City-Osaka last October.

The deployment of the A350-900XWB is part of a wider plan by Vietnam Airlines to replace and upgrade its wide-body fleet for its long-haul flights. The A350 has replaced the A321 that previously operated on flights VN384/5.

“Vietnam Airlines is proud to bring the Airbus A350 to the Hanoi-Tokyo Haneda route in order to meet the increasing travel demand between the two busy cities,” said Nguyen Quang Trung, general manager of Vietnam Airlines’ Japan Branch Ban. “This will also contribute to the development of tourism and trade between Vietnam and Japan, as well as reaffirming the position, image and superior quality of services that Vietnam Airlines offers to the Japanese market.”

Vietnam Airlines flies 31 to 35 times per week to Tokyo’s two airports from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang.

Last November, Vietnam Airlines took delivery of its tenth Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which the airline is deploying on its London Heathrow service.

Vietnam Airlines enhances Australia and China services

Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Vietnam’s flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, will be enhancing two of its services to China along with one of its Australia routes in the northern summer 2017 season, according to industry website,

Starting March 29, Vietnam Airlines will be launching a new Boeing 787-9 non-stop, three-times-weekly flight between Hanoi and Sydney. VN787 will depart Hanoi close to midnight on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving the following midday in Sydney. The return VN786 flight will depart the Australian city in the early afternoon and arrive back in Hanoi just before 9pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Vietnam Airlines received delivery of its tenth B787-9 in November, which was deployed on the carrier’s London Heathrow service.

The airline is also set to change equipment on its Hanoi-Shanghai Pudong and Ho Chi Minh City-Guangzhou routes starting July 1 and October 1, respectively. Vietnam Airlines will begin deploying Airbus A350-900 on these two routes – the Shanghai service is currently operated by A330-200, while its Guangzhou route is operated by A321.

The upgauge will increase the number of seats per flight on both routes to 305, including 29 business and 231 economy class seats, along with the addition of 45 premium economy seats – a tier not offered on its A330 and A321.

Details for the routes are as follows:

Hanoi (HAN)-Sydney (SYD):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
VN787 HAN SYD 2355 1215+1 Tue, Fri, Sun
VN786 SYD HAN 1415 2050 Mon, Wed, Sat

Hanoi (HAN)-Shanghai Pudong (PVG):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
VN530 HAN PVG 1015 1425 Daily
VN531 PVG HAN 1550 1810

Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)-Guangzhou (CAN):

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
VN502 SGN CAN 1025 1410 Daily
VN503 CAN SGN 1515 1710

ANA and Vietnam Airlines enter new partnership

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Vietnam Airlines will begin codesharing on ten international routes linking Japan and Vietnam, along with 25 domestic routes in both countries, starting October 30.

In addition to the routes, the two airlines have entered a frequent flyer partnership that will enable ANA Mileage Club and Lotusmiles members to accrue air miles on codeshare flights. Members will also be able to redeem rewards on all flights marketed and operated by the two carriers.

“There is strong and growing demand for air services between Japan and Vietnam, and this trend is set to continue,” said Shinya Katanozaka, president and CEO of ANA Holdings. “Together, ANA and Vietnam Airlines can play a vital role as a bridge between the two countries, promoting greater economic, cultural and personal ties.

“As well as providing an enhanced service for our passengers, we can also share our combined industry expertise in a win-win partnership.”

The codeshare will also see Vietnam Airlines cabin crew join flights by the Japanese carrier in order to facilitate customer interaction through interpretation and announcements in Vietnamese. Select airports, including Haneda International Airport and Tan Son Nhat International Airport, will also offer integrated support services including check-in, lounge and baggage services for both airlines.

Earlier this year, the Japanese company acquired an 8.8 per cent stake in Vietnam Airlines.;

Five A350 services that you may not be aware of

Thai Airways A350




DATE SERVED Until September 15


INFO As Thai Airways’ looks forward to the highly anticipated delivery of its first A350 later this month, most people believe that the earliest that they’d get to fly on the new aircraft is on September 16 (Bangkok–Melbourne). However, the A350 will actually be serving a number of domestic services as part of the crew familiarisation process. Travellers looking to fly on the airplane early can do so from September 4 on the Bangkok–Phuket route.



OPERATING CARRIER Singapore Airlines


DATE SERVED Until October 21, but may become a permanent fixture on the route


INFO Singapore Airlines’ is currently operating flights to Amsterdam and Dusseldorf, with Melbourne and San Francisco to begin later this year. However, the Star Alliance member is also using its new aircraft on daily flights to and from Hong Kong. The Singapore–Hong Kong trunk route generates plenty of demand, meaning that SIA is still able to operate long-haul aircraft such as the A380 and A350 on the route profitably.





DATE SERVED From December 5


INFO There is no shortage in the number of airlines that operate flights between Taipei and Osaka. Along with the usual Taiwan and Japan-based full-service carriers, the route is also operated by a number of regional low-cost carriers as well as a fifth freedom service by Cathay Pacific. It is therefore no surprise that China Airlines has decided to offer its newest aircraft on this ultra competitive route.





DATE SERVED From September 1


INFO While Vietnam Airlines does operate long-haul A350 flights to Paris, the fuel-efficient Airbus aircraft is also operating flights to important regional destinations such as Seoul. The Skyteam member will also begin offering A350 services to Shanghai next month, as the aircraft replaces the ageing B777-200ER.





DATE SERVED From October 30


INFO Cathay Pacific currently operates the highly inefficient A340 on its Hong Kong–Auckland route. The four-engine gas-guzzler features the airline’s last generation cabin products, including the controversial old “coffin” business class seats. The introduction of the A350 will provide travellers with much improved hard products – something the 11-hour long flights desperately need.

Clement Huang