The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has spent nearly 80 trillion VND (3.7 billion USD) in the past decade on upgrading its aircraft fleet as part of efforts to bring its services to a four-star rating.

From 2006-2010, the carrier invested 17.4 trillion VND (809 million USD) in nine aircraft projects, bringing its fleet to 68 aircraft by 2010, compared to 38 planes in 2006. The carrier owned 43 percent of the total planes.

From 2011-2015, over 54 trillion VND (2.5 billion USD) has been allocated to the purpose, increasing the total planes to 94 by the end of 2015, from 76 in 2011, of which Vietnam Airlines own 60 percent.

Four A3321 and one ATR72 are on dry lease to Cambodia Angkor Air and two A321 to Jetstar Pacific Airlines.

Earlier this month, Vietnam Airlines received its first Airbus 350-900 aircraft and announced its upgraded service quality programme and new brand, marking a major step in bringing the airline into the international arena.

Aircraft A350-900 XWB is the newest member of Airbus’s wide-body family.

Receiving Aircraft A350-900 XWB is part of Vietnam Airlines’ plan by 2020 to enlarge its fleet of new-generation wide-body aircrafts for long-distance services. The national flag carrier is the second airline in the world, after Qatar Airways, to operate the new generation aircraft.

As scheduled, Vietnam Airlines will have 14 A350-900s, including 10 ordered directly from Airbus and another four from leasing firms.-VNA