VietJet Plans Narrowbody Airbus A321XLR Flights To Australia

VietJet plans to launch flights to Australia with the world’s best narrowbody aircraft, the Airbus A321XLR. The airline ordered 15 of the type last month and plans to deploy them not only to Australia but also the Middle East and Eastern Europe with the lofty goal to open 10 new international routes each year.

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Vietjet has placed a firm order for 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. Photo: Airbus

What are the details?

Last month, VietJet ordered 15 of the darling favorite of the Paris Air Show, the Airbus A321XLR.

The Airbus A321XLR narrowbody aircraft is famously known as the longest-range single-aisle aircraft in the world. Plenty of wide-body aircraft can compete, or even exceed, the A321XLRs range, but thanks to its design it is actually far more profitable to operate over these long distances (a smaller plane is easier to sell out and make profitable than a big one like the A380).

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The many benefits of the Airbus A321XLR. Photo: Airbus

Hence, the A321XLR is perfect for long but thin routes, for example from Perth to Auckland direct. There are not really enough passengers to justify a widebody aircraft, but passengers don’t want to transfer through a hub if they can help it. Thus, if you can offer them a direct flight for a premium, they will take it.

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This aircraft will be especially useful for flights across the Atlantic, where New York and London have long been the hubs that traffic had to flow through. Passengers will now be able to fly from Boston to Manchester direct for example, or Hong Kong to Hawaii.

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VietJet’s current rout emap. Source: VietJet

What is VietJet’s plan?

According to Reuters, VietJet wants to fly the A321XLR to Australia, Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

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Hanoi
The range of the A321XLR (4,700 nautical miles) centered around Hanoi. Photo: GC Maps

Whilst nothing is yet confirmed where they want to fly to (plus they will need to get permission from the Australian government anyway), there is a rumor that they are looking to fly the aircraft to regional airports such as Avalon in Victoria, as opposed to the major gateways. They have a service scheduled for late 2020, and with the A321XLR aircraft will be initially delivered to VietJet in 2023 it is unknown what will fly there in the meantime.

The airline also plans to fly the aircraft to the Middle East, which likely Dubai will be the first destination followed by countries such as Israel (Vietnam is a popular tourist destination for Israelis).

Speaking of tourists, Eastern Europe is also a lucrative destination for the airline. Moscow could bring plenty of holidaymakers to the country and Croatia could be a good destination for local outbound tourists. There are plenty of destinations that are well within the range of the Airbus A321XLR.

Western Europe is just outside of the range of the A321XLR, but perhaps a future widebody order could solve this.

So far the airline has not ordered any wide-body aircraft, but they have hinted that they will do so soon.

What do you think? Should they fly to Australia? Let us know in the comments.

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Phil

They’ve already confirmed that they will fly between Ho Chi Minh and Avalon Airport which is an hour south west of Melbourne. This is where Air Asia X also flies to from Kuala Lumpur.

Colm

Personally I hate flying long or medium hall on narrow body. If I am flying to USA purposely avoid those flights if I can and am willing to pay a bit more to fly a widebody. The play will make money for airlines but passager comfort will suffer.

Nate

I highly doubt that VietJet would ever plan services to Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and the CIS). For one, there are only a handful of airlines who push the maximum range of their narrowbody aircraft (typically these are Russian carriers or COPA) since wind and weather conditions can easily change… Read more »