IFTM Top Resa Special – Interview With Nguyen Quoc Phung, General Manager Vietnam Airlines Europe

Vietnam Airlines launched on October 1 the first commercial flight from Paris to Hanoi with its brand new Airbus A350-900.
Nguyen Quoc Phuong talked about the special event for the Vietnamese national airline.

What does the Airbus A350-900 mean for Vietnam Airlines?

We are very proud to be the second carrier after Qatar Airways to introduce this brand new aircraft. And we are indeed the first in Asia to present this revolutionary aircraft which matches our customers highest expectations. The aircraft is an opportunity for us to introduce a brand new service.

Could you give us some details about new services on board?

We totally refitted our business class. The configuration gives increased privacy while the seat can be converted into a bed. We offer larger video screens with enhanced programs, wi-fi as well as an electric plug. We have also an enhanced Premium Economy class with 45 seats. The seat is equipped with a foot rest, better recline and has also an electric plug and wifi. We also improved the menu for this class. Economy passengers will also enjoy a more relaxing atmosphere with larger windows and enhanced video programs. We hope with all these improvements to reach the Skyrax four-star status.

Does VN also work to improve ground services?

I must confess that we improve our service but step by step on the ground. We already offer Sky priority facilities for our Premium passengers. We will also introduce automatic self check in by the end of the year in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Improving our ground service is important to get Skytrax four-star status.

Vietnam Airlines also received recently Boeing 787. Which are the routes benefiting of these new aircraft?

Europe is the first to benefit of the new aircraft. London and Frankfurt are being served with the Boeing 787 while Paris will so far be the only European destination from the Airbus A350. Flights to Korea and Japan will also be served by the A350. The integration of the new aircraft will translate into more flights to Europe with London-Heathrow being served on a daily basis from next year.

Are they new destinations to be opened until next year?

We have no plans for now. We are still waiting for an approval to serve the United States. Meanwhile, we mostly upgrade the total number of flights in selected routes.

Are you still position yourself as the “Indochina” carrier?

More than ever. We especially work closely with our Cambodian subsidiary, Cambodia Angkor Air. We then can offer round trips linking Vietnam to Cambodia and Laos. Passengers can now enter from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and exit from another gateway as Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Vientiane are linked to both cities.