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Vietnam Airlines: Sydney, Melbourne Boeing 787 flights deferred until December

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: sydney, Melbourne, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Airlines

UPDATE | Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787-9 flights to both Sydney and Melbourne will now commence in December 2016, rather than in late October as previously reported.

Although the airline's reservation system then showed the Boeing 787-9 flying Down Under from October 29 2016, flights until December will now continue to use the current aircraft types – that's the Boeing 777-200ER to Sydney and the Airbus A330-200 to Melbourne.

Passengers originally booked in premium economy on the Dreamliner before December 1 are advised to call Vietnam Airlines on 1300 888 028 to confirm whether their replacement aircraft offers this cabin and to discuss options if it doesn't.

PREVIOUS: March 11 2016 | SkyTeam alliance member Vietnam Airlines will fly its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia from later this year.

Replacing a Boeing 777-200ER on flights to Sydney and an Airbus A330-200 to Melbourne from October 29 2016, business class travellers can stretch out in fully-flat beds with direct aisle access from every seat…

… in what some high flyers might recognise as the Zodiac Cirrus seat also used also by American Airlines and Cathay Pacific on flights to Australia, but with each airline making their own tweaks.

There’s also a fresh premium economy cabin spanning five rows in a 2-3-2 layout for cost-conscious business travellers keen to remain productive and get some rest along the way:

For Sydney residents, flight VN772 pushes back at 11:50am daily to reach Saigon at 4:15pm, with the flight home, VN773, departing at 9:30pm for a next-day arrival into Sydney at 9:50am.

Melbourne follows a similar schedule with VN780 wheels-up at 11:25am each day for a 3:40pm touchdown in Vietnam, while VN781 takes to the skies at 9:10pm for a 9:25am arrival into Melbourne.

Vietnam Airlines’ Boeing 787 flights to both Sydney and Melbourne are now open for booking via the airline’s website…

… with business class passengers and SkyTeam Elite Plus frequent flyers in other classes given access to the SkyTeam lounge in Sydney, the Qantas international business class lounge in Melbourne and the Vietnam Airlines lounge at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City).

Also read: Photos: inside Vietnam Airlines' Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

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About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!

 

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1 on 11/3/16 by Tom

WOOHOO! Good news for eveyone!

2 on 11/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

I hate to be fussy but don't 787-9s have a range >14 000km?

Isn't it really inefficient to use such long-range jets on medium-range routes? Or not very?

1 on 11/3/16 by ILIKEPLANES101

Not inefficient at all, especially if SYD/MEL is where VN think the 789 will be most profitable.

1 on 11/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

I've been told that its inefficient to operate longhaul airplanes on shorter-haul routes. "Too much airplane" is an oft-used phrase.

If I'm mistaken I'd appreciate being told why.

1 on 11/3/16 by ILIKEPLANES101

Hi StudioeKadent,

There are a number reasons why such an aircraft could be classed as inefficient on  short routes.

1. The high amount of fuel required for takeoff and ascent to cruise altitude is a larger percentage of a short flight which sends ticket prices up higher which may not be worth it for short routes.

2. The lack of ability to use design efficiencies en-route,

3. The amount of time taken to turn around larger aircraft at airports.

4. The passenger comfort of a larger plane is better used on longer flights.

5. As Andy had mentioned below VN's 777 and A330 fleet is being retired leaving only the 787 and A350's with enough range for the longer flights so therefore it's either use them or discontinue the route.

6. Sometimes frequency is preferred, take MEL-SYD for example. It's predominantly narrowbodies running this route to give a better choice of timing for the passengers.

In the end it all comes down to the airline and it's economics. VN matches the aircraft and routes to do what's best for business and after all it is still a fairly long flight 8-9hrs.

Cheers

1 on 11/3/16 by Chris

Hi ILIKEPLANES101, the timing of your post may mean you didn't see our other notes before you commented, but discussion like this isn't relevant to the business traveller (our target audience) or the direct content of this article and is best left for a dedicated Q&A topic if you'd like to discuss this to keep everything in the right place.

We'll leave this post as is, although further posts like these made on articles may be deleted to keep discussion on-track for our primary audience, as per our comment policy. :)

This discussion can be continued here in our Q&A section -->>

2 on 11/3/16 by Andy H

VN will phase out their 772 & A332 fleet, the 789 and A359's will eventually replace them entirely. This is just another step in this phase. Everyone should be happy considering the price VN charges for J, now with even better seats and product!

1 on 11/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

Oh, I'm not unhappy or anything. I was just under the impression that its considered inefficient to use really longhaul airplanes on short sectors.

The new product is certainly impressive and I hope for the best for Vietnam Airlines.

I'm just curious about the economics of operating such a jet on a shorter-haul route. I've read that its inefficient to do so. If that's not true, I'd love to know the facts.

1 on 11/3/16 by Chris

Hi StudiodeKadent, that sounds like a great question to ask in our Q&A section as a topic of its own! :)

(Operating economics from an airline perspective aren't something we cover in articles as we write for the business traveller, not the travel industry or the 'aviation' sector, which we'll agree is sometimes a very difficult distinction to make!)

This discussion can be continued here in our Q&A section -->>

1 on 11/3/16 by StudiodeKadent

Chris,

No problem. Thanks for that. Shall redirect my inquiry there.

3 on 11/3/16 by FLX

<<...don't 787-9s have a range >14 000km?>>

Yes it does.  Nominal range @ zero cargo, 290 pax+bags in modern 2-class is 14,100km.  Actual range of course depends on individual airline config & mission requirements(e.g. cargo traffic volume) as usual.

<<Isn't it really inefficient to use such long-range jets on medium-range routes?>>

A)  <<inefficient>> relative to what?

If relative to the same 789 being used on longhual or extra-longhaul missions, then yes, deploying it on medium-haul missions is a bit less fuel efficient.

If relative to 78J(i.e. 787-10, none ordered by VN) which is optimized more towards medium-haul missions, then alos yes, 789 is less fuel efficient.  Similar story 339 vs 359.

If relative to older gen types(e.g. 763ER, 333) on medium-haul missions, then no, 789 is still more fuel efficient..

B)  Is it appropriate to measure efficiency purely on fuel burn?

What about daily utilization rate of a super-expensive asset like a 789?  Only the 789 & 359(With 332 & 772ER before them) can fulfill VN's longhaul /extra-longhaul missions.  However, significant time slack exists between 2 longhaul rotations /missions per airframe per day.  VN can choose to 1) Fly 789 exclusively for longhaul missions and just park it on the ground idling for many hrs every day between longhaul rotations or 2) UTILIZE 789 for BOTH longhaul rotations AND shorter missions that fit in-between the longhaul rotation schedule.  Most operators choose 2) especially those paying costly lease/mthly payment on brand new hardwares.

C)  Older gen medium-haul types(e.g. 763ER, 333) match /exceed fuel efficiency of the latest gen longhaul types only @ very short mission distances circa 3,000-4,000km.

1 on 11/3/16 by Chris

Hi FLX, as noted above, operating economics, aircraft utilisation and fuel effeciency aren't subjects relevant to the business traveller (our target audience) or the direct content of this article and are best discussed in a single Q&A topic to keep all discussion together. We won't remove your post above as it was well-considered and we appreciate your efforts in contributing to the conversation, although on future articles these types of posts made on articles may be deleted to keep discussion on-track for our primary audience, as per our comment policy.

This discussion can be continued here in our Q&A section -->>

1 on 11/3/16 by FLX

Noted & will comply accordingly.  Thx.

3 on 11/3/16 by afloskar

Does anyone know when Vietnam airlines will start Brisbane. Looking at different articles it looks like they will start BNE flights in 2017. Just checking if anyone else has seen this...

1 on 12/3/16 by S

I read this too about Brisbane. but it would seem more likely that they announce Hanoi-Sydney before they make any move into Brisbane. The Hanoi flight was rumoured to start in the first half of this year

4 on 12/3/16 by Chris McKellar

[Deleted by admin - off-topic]

1 on 12/3/16 by Chris

Hi Chris, your post has been removed as off-topic, as per AusBT's published comment policy. Please see the three other policy reminders on this article for more information, and if you'd like to continue the discussion (which was more so about aircraft economics than the actual topic of the article), you're most welcome to do so in our Q&A area.

5 on 13/3/16 by davar98

Business class on these 787-9's are a great product. Flew it SGN to LON over Xmas. Only problem is they have stacked the seats too close together, so if the seat is at all reclined, difficult to get out of. On the other hand the 777 business class was pretty outdated, so this is a great improvement.

 

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