With a current fleet size of about 100 aircraft, Vietnam Airlines isn’t exactly among the largest airline fleets in the world. However, in 2021 this full-service, legacy airline has a fairly modern fleet. While it doesn’t quite make the top 10, the carrier’s collection of jets still has an impressively low average age, at just under seven years.
The Vietnam Airlines fleet at a glance
First, let’s take a look at the composition of the airline’s fleet as a whole. The aircraft types are listed below with quantities in parentheses.
- ATR72 (2)
- A320neo (2)*
- A321ceo (49)
- A321neo (20)
- A350-900 (14)
- 787-9 (11)
- 787-10 (4)
Back in 2019, Vietnam Airlines had struck an agreement with Air Lease Corporation for two A320neo jets. These aircraft are listed as ‘future’ planes at Planespotters.net while ch-aviation.com lists them as ‘inactive.’ With this in mind, while these are the numbers at the time of publication, quantities of aircraft types are bound to shift with the airline set to take delivery of additional jets. At the same time, the airline is selling off some of its older narrowbodies.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
All about the A321
It’s somewhat rare to find an airline that has chosen to have an A321-heavy fleet. Indeed, most carriers either have a mix of A319s, A320s, and A321s, or else have a majority of A320s. For Vietnam Airlines, the Airbus A321 provides higher capacities while providing sufficient range for its destinations within Vietnam and across the Asia-Pacific region.
At this time, the airline has 49 older A321-200s which have an average age of just under 10 years. However, modernization is underway, with the carrier taking 20 A321neos over the past three years. The following blurb is how Airbus describes Vietnam Airlines’ A321neo operations:
“Powered by Pratt and Whitney Pure Power engines, the Vietnam Airlines A321neo features a premium two-class layout with eight business class seats and 195 economy class seats…the A321neo will be deployed by Vietnam Airlines on services across Asia.”
In early June, we wrote about the airline’s intention to auction off 11 of its older Airbus A321-200s.
“Vietnam Airlines is offering to sell 11 A321CEO aircraft with manufacture serial numbers (MSN) 2255 / 2261 / 2974 / 3005 / 3013 / 3022 / 3198 / 3315 / 3355 / 3600 / 3737,” read the airline’s statement to Aerotime Hub.
The announcement, posted on the airline’s website, had a bid deadline of June 29th, 2021. At this point in time, the planes remain listed in the carrier’s fleet.
Historically operating Airbus A330s, Boeing 767s, and Boeing 777s, Vietnam Airlines has done an impressive job modernizing its fleet in recent years.
The airline took delivery of its first 787-9s and A350-900s in 2015 and more recently welcomed the stretched 787-10 into its fleet in 2019. For both the A350 and 787 fleets, the average age of aircraft hovers around four and a half years- something that passengers should enjoy.
The carrier is set to take delivery of more of these modern widebodies, with the expectation that four more 787-10s will be delivered in the future.
Have you flown with Vietnam Airlines recently? What do you think of this fleet composition? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.