The Airbus A321 jet delivered to VietJet Air on Sunday marked a special milestone for both the French planemaker and the Vietnamese no-frills carrier.
The aircraft, now coded VN-A651, is the 9,000th jet produced by Airbus and the first A321 in the Vietnamese carrier’s fleet.
“We have just delivered the 9,000th Airbus jet! Congratulations VietJetAir.com on the handover of your first A321, we are glad to reach this new milestone with you!” the French company said on its Facebook page the same day.
The Airbus jet, which landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City at 2:30 pm, is adorned with large text reading “Airbus 9,000th Aircraft” to mark the milestone.
The first Airbus aircraft, the A300, took its maiden flight in October 1972, according to the planemaker’s website.
The VN-A651 is the fifth in an order of 100 aircraft VietJet Air placed with Airbus, the Vietnamese carrier said on its website.
The new aircraft was purchased in a deal financed by France’s BNP Paribas bank and Japan’s Jackson Square, according to VietJet Air.
The aircraft delivery ceremony was earlier organized in the German city of Hamburg, attended by Airbus vice president Nico Petersen and Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Thi Hoang Anh.
The A320 single-aisle jetliner family, which features the Sharklets wingtip devices, is the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft family, according to Airbus. Featuring the widest passenger cabin in its class, the A321 also boasts extended service intervals for the airframe and the stretched fuselage can seat up to 220 passengers in a high-density arrangement.
The newly arrived A321 increases VietJet Air’s fleet to 23 aircraft, which will facilitate its plan to open long-haul services to South Korea, Japan, and other destinations in the Asia Pacific region.
“We are very proud to welcome a new A321 to our family in line with our expansion plans in Asia Pacific,” the airline’s managing director Luu Duc Khanh said in a statement.
John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers with Airbus, also shared his delight at the handover.
“It is a great honor for us to deliver the 9,000th aircraft to VietJet,” he said.
“The new A321 will boost VietJet’s operation to a new level in terms of cost efficiency for single-aisle aircraft.”