Vietnam Airlines has taken delivery of the first of 19 Dreamliner aircraft, and will roster the B787-9 onto London services from September 1.
The next-generation aircraft landed in Hanoi earlier this week, and has already gone into operation on domestic services between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
But the big news for UK-based passengers is the confirmation that the B787 will make its debut on the carrier’s routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to London Heathrow from next month.
The airline switched its London operations from Gatwick to Heathrow airport earlier this year (see news, January 2015).
The move will make Vietnam Airlines the first Southeast Asian carrier to serve Europe with the B787-9, and the first airline worldwide to operate both the larger version of the Boeing Dreamliner, and the Airbus A350 XWB (of which it took delivery at the end of June - see news, June 30).
Vietnam Airlines will take delivery of its second B787-9 on August 10. The carrier currently serves London four-times weekly (twice from Hanoi, and twice from Ho Chi Minh City), and said that frequencies between Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City and London Heathrow “will rise from four flights to five or six flights per week following the deployment of the Dreamliners, before increasing to a daily service for Summer 2016”.
The new aircraft will feature fully flat beds in business class, and in-flight wifi is also “set to be introduced”.