Vietnam Airlines has withdrawn the iconic Airbus A330 from service as a result of its fleet renewal program which sees the incorporation of more modern and efficient jets. Coinciding with the recent delivery of Vietnam Airlines’ first Boeing 787-10, the Airbus A330’s time in Vietnam Airlines’ fleet has unfortunately come to an end.
Vietnam Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787-10 earlier last month and has since put the aircraft to work. The airline also took delivery of a second 787-10 earlier this week, registered VN-A872.
The Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A330 are designed to operate on similar services, with the latter also being built to fly on longer range routes as well. However, with the introduction of aircraft such as the Airbus A350-900, 787-9 and now 787-10, the need to keep the Airbus A330s has dramatically reduced. As new, next-generation aircraft come into the carrier’s fleet, its older planes have been withdraw from service.
The first Airbus A330 in Vietnam Airlines’ fleet was delivered back in October 2006. Since its induction, the aircraft has flown almost 20 million passengers on nearly 96,000 flights. At its peak, the Airbus A330 formed a core part of the Vietnamese flag carriers’ fleet, with 12 in service.
Vietnam Airlines retired its only Airbus A330-300 back in July 2011 before commencing the phase out of its fleet of Airbus A330-200s approximately 2 years later. Since then, 11 Airbus A330-200s have been removed from service and have either been scrapped or are flying with other airlines. Such is the case with two ex-Vietnam Airlines A330-200s which have found a new home with competitor Bamboo Airways. VN-A831 was the last Airbus A330-200 to fly with Vietnam Airlines.
Vietnam Airlines recently received permission to operate flights between Vietnam and the United States of America. However, with three airlines in Vietnam hoping to take a chunk of the market share on the sector, is there enough demand?
Vietnam Airlines’ modern fleet has been a key aspect to its recent success. The airline reported a 5.5% increase in overall revenue for the first half of 2019, citing its ‘robust performance’ during a difficult period which saw many airlines plunge into the red. Retiring older jets and integrating newer aircraft, Vietnam Airlines no doubt has a strong and reliable fleet.