At the ceremony (Source: VNA)
 
Paris (VNA) – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong cut the ribbon during a ceremony in Paris on March 28 to deliver an A350 Airbus wide-body plane to the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. 

Speaking at the event, Vietnam Airlines General Director Duong Tri Thanh said it is the 11th out of 14 aircraft due to be delivered to the carrier during 2015-2019, bringing the total number of its Airbus planes to 150 by late 2019.

He affirmed that Vietnam Airlines always considers Airbus an important partner to help modernise its fleet up to four and five star standards in the future under its long-term development strategy.

The transfer ceremony took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership.

Earlier on March 27 evening, Vietnam Airlines held a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of Vietnam – France direct flight, as part of celebrations for the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

Vietnam Airlines is the first and only carrier to tap the Vietnam – France route over the past 15 years, playing a pillar role in developing domestic aviation strategy and contributing to tightening bilateral diplomatic ties.

Since its establishment, Vietnam Airlines has regarded flight services to Europe as strategic, with France being a key market and gateway to Europe. In 1994, it opened a representative office in France and launched one-day flights to the country with transit via Dubai – the first long route to Europe.

A decade later, the carrier opened direct flights linking Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Paris, cutting travelling time to 12 hours with wide-body Boeing 777.

While tapping flights to France from 1994 to 2003, Vietnam Airlines served around 800,000 passengers. A decade later, the figure rose four-fold to roughly 3.2 million.

With the frequency of 10 flights per week using Airbus 350 and four star services, Vietnam Airlines is maintaining the largest market share of carrying passengers between the two countries.

On March 28 morning, the Party chief left Paris, concluding his three-day official visit to France at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron.-VNA