The assembly of the first Vietnam Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has been completed; the craft is set to be handed over to the national flag carrier this June.

This airplane will be the first serving a direct route from Southeast Asia to Europe, destined for Heathrow Airport in the UK, the carrier said.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is said to be able to operate over a longer journey and carry more passengers while saving 20 percent of fuel and emitting 20 percent fewer emissions compared to current Boeing 777s.

In mid-2015, the company will also receive an Airbus A350-900, becoming the first in Asia to simultaneously own two of the world’s latest plane models.

The move is part of its efforts to become a four-star airline within this year and rank among the top carriers in Southeast Asia, Vietnam Airlines said.

The firm reported in last December that it operated more than 118,000 safe flights in 2014, an annual increase of 3.8 percent.

It transported over 15.75 million passengers during the year, up nearly 7 percent, with an average seat occupancy rate of almost 80 percent. It earned 71.97 billion VND (3.4 billion USD) in revenue, equivalent to 102 percent of the 2013 figure.-VNA