National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines receives its first Airbus A321neo from US-based Aviation Capital Group (ACG) in Hamburg, Germany earlier this week. (Photo courtesy of Vietnam Airlines)

Hanoi (VNA) – The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has received its first Airbus A321neo from US-based Aviation Capital Group (ACG) in Hamburg, Germany earlier this week.

The new aircraft will be used for domestic flights and routes connecting destinations in Southeast Asia.

It is among the 20 new-generation A321neo planes the airline plans to lease from the ACG, ICBC Leasing of China, and US-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC), expected to be fully delivered by the end of 2019.

These planes will help expand its aircraft fleet to about 110 in 2020.

Khanh T. Tran, president and CEO of ACG, expressed his delight at the delivery and stressed the company looks forward to Vietnam Airlines operating these highly fuel-efficient aircraft in their growing route network.

For his part, Vietnam Airlines’ president and CEO Duong Tri Thanh said his firm selected the Airbus A321neo for its exceptional operational performance with 15-20 percent reduced fuel burn and its outstanding passenger comfort and amenities, describing the event as marking a milestone in Vietnam Airlines' ongoing programme to upgrade its narrow-body fleet as well as our 4-star service quality.

Founded in 1989, the ACG is one of the world’s premier full service aircraft asset managers with approximately 500 owned, managed and committed aircraft as of September 30, 2018, which are leased to about 90 airlines in 45 countries.

Vietnam Airlines is operating 94 routes to 21 domestic and 29 international destinations with an average of 400 flights per day. In 2017, it was named “Asia Pacific Airline of the Year” by CAPA; and “World’s Leading Airline – Premium Economy Class” and “World’s Leading Cultural Airline” in the World Travel Awards 2017.

In July, Skytrax – the world’s leading airline and airport rating organization – rated Vietnam Airlines as a 4-star airline for three consecutive years.

The State-run company recorded sales of 88.4 trillion VND (3.7 million USD) and carried 26.5 million passengers last year. Its on-time performance index (OTP) exceeded 90 percent. –VNA