Vietnam Airlines will have its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner perform demonstration flights at an airshow in France next week before the official delivery scheduled for the middle of this year, the national flag carrier said Monday.
The 787-9 Dreamliner, one of the newest flagship jetliners of the U.S. planemaker, will attend the 51st Paris Air Show, running from June 15 to 21, at Paris-based Le Bourget, Vietnam Airlines said in a press release.
Each demo flight will last for around 10 minutes and is intended to showcase the Boeing jetliner bearing the airline’s distinctive blue and gold lotus livery to the world.
It will be the first time Boeing has launched demo flights with a 787-9 Dreamliner customized by an airline client, and also the maiden showcase of Vietnam Airlines’ new brand recognition at one of the world’s largest airshows, according to the flag carrier.
The Vietnamese national carrier unveiled its new brand designs, including new uniforms for its pilots and cabin crews, in March.
Vietnam Airlines’ 787-9 Dreamliner is scheduled to leave Paint Field Airport in Washington on June 10 for Paris, and return to the U.S. on June 19 for a passenger flight before being officially delivered to the carrier by the end of this month.
The Vietnamese airline will first use the new jetliner for the Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City service, so that its domestic customers can experience flying with the Boeing flagship Dreamliner.
The first international service to use the new aircraft will be the Vietnam (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City)-London Heathrow route, according to Vietnam Airlines.
Once the Boeing 787-9 is added to its fleet, Vietnam Airlines will run a pilot program to equip the business class section of the aircraft with free Wi-Fi service to better serve passengers.
With a fuselage stretched by six meters over the 787-8, the 787-9 can fly more passengers and more cargo farther with the same exceptional environmental performance, 20 percent less fuel use and 20 percent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace, according to Boeing.
Vietnam Airlines is also expected to receive a new Airbus A350 XWB, which completed its first flight in Toulouse on June 1, by the end of this month, it said in a separate press release on Wednesday last week.
The airline will thus become the first airline in Asia to operate the latest Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350 XWB at the same time, the carrier said, adding it is also the second carrier in the world to fly the Airbus flagship aircraft.
Vietnam Airlines will acquire 14 A350 XWBs, including ten on order from Airbus and four under lease agreements.
The carrier will operate its A350 XWB fleet on premium long haul routes, beginning with services between Hanoi and Paris.