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VNA to Buy 10 New A350 Airbus, Fly Nonstop to LAX

It looks like Vietnam is pushing to make nonstop flights to and from the United States a reality as Vietnam Airlines just signed a deal with Airbus for a fleet of 10 aircraft built especially for long-distance flights.

According to a press release by Airbus, Vietnam Airlines recently inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the French aircraft producer for 10 more A350-900 airplanes. These planes, coupled with the 14 Airbus A350-900s and 19 Boeing 789-9s the state airline ordered in 2015, are more than enough to make nonstop flights from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat to Los Angeles’ LAX a possibility.

The contract went through in Hanoi on September 6 between President and CEO of Vietnam Airlines Duong Tri Thanh and Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President & CEO, the press release states. French President François Hollande and Vietnam’s own President Tran Dai Quang were also present at the signing as it coincided with the French leader’s first visit to Vietnam.

“The intention to acquire these additional aircraft reflects our excellent experience with the A350 since it entered service with Vietnam Airlines last year,” Thanh shared at the meeting. “With its very long range capability, economic fuel consumption and spacious cabin, the A350 is the suitable aircraft for our proposed intercontinental routes to Europe and the US. The start of nonstop trans-Pacific services with the A350 is yet another example of the commitment we have at Vietnam Airlines to strengthen our position as one of the world’s leading international carriers.”

It’s likely that this fleet of planes will be utilized to service nonstop flights, beginning with a route between Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles. The flight will span a distance of 8,169 miles (13,147 kilometers), just a bit shorter than Singapore Airlines’ route from Singapore to San Francisco – currently the world’s longest A350 route at 8,446 miles (13,592 kilometers).

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