The first Airbus A350 XWB for Vietnam Airlines has completed its first flight.
Wearing the airline’s distinctive blue-and-gold lotus livery, Vietnam Airlines’ first Airbus A350-900 performed its first flight on June 1 from Toulouse Blagnac Airport, where Airbus’ widebody final-assembly lines are located.
The aircraft will now enter the final phase of production, including cabin completion, as well as undergoing further ground and flight tests.
Vietnam Airlines has agreed to lease the aircraft from AerCap and is scheduled to take delivery of the A350-900 in mid-2015.
When it does so, Vietnam Airlines will become the first Asian airline to fly the Airbus A350 XWB and the world’s second operator of the type.
Vietnam Airlines will acquire 14 A350 XWBs, including 10 it has ordered from Airbus and four it will take under lease agreements.
The carrier will operate its A350 XWB fleet on its premium long-haul routes, beginning with its service between Hanoi and Paris.
Airbus had received firm orders for 780 A350 XWB widebodies, from 40 customers, by the end of April.