Vietnam Airlines has revealed (on the same day) both it’s 787 and A350 interiors which will be entering service later this year. The airline has opted for two different business classes between the two airframes, yet both offer substantial improvements on the current product, leapfrogging the carrier ahead to become a real competitor in the international market.
Onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the carrier has opted for the Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus Seat, offering 28 seats in a 1 x 2 x 1 configuration. These seats convert into fully flat beds and offer WiFi, inset power, USB connectivity and inflight texting. To match the improvement in comfort, there is a larger, high definition 15.4″ screen for each passenger.
The colour tones will be more neutral, lighter and much more contemporary. Featuring on the seats will be a lotus flower pattern, in a nod to the airline’s logo. Whilst these aren’t the most kitted out Cirrus seats (compared to their competitors) this is a welcome increase in seat privacy, space and comfort, especially for the long haul flights the new airframe will be undertaking.
To match the current product available on the carrier’s European routes, there will also be a deluxe economy class cabin, featuring 35 seats in a 2 x 3 x 2 seating configuration, offering an industry leading 42″ of pitch and 10.6″ touchscreen TV. Each seat will also offer leg support and a deep recline.
In economy however, the cabin will match the tighter configuration of other 787 operators including BA and Virgin Atlantic, offering a 3 x 3 x 3, with 211 seats. However, economy passengers will be able to stretch out a little more than normal with 32″ of seat pitch and an equally impressive 10.6″ touchscreen TV.
Onboard the A350 (with it’s slightly updated livery – inclusive of swooping golden arc on the belly), the carrier has opted for a different, forward facing business class seat at the pointy end made by Solstys. The ‘off the shelf’ product is perfect for Airbus A350s, fitting the cabin perfectly, and have interestingly decided to keep each seat totally private, rather than opting for the alternate rows of seat pairs in the middle section, like Etihad and Emirates have done on most of their fleet.
The difference in seat however, doesn’t mean any less privacy or comfort, although with the forward facing seats, passengers may feel slightly more restricted as the seats recline into the side table of the seat in front, reducing space around the feet slightly.
Behind the business class cabin, will be a large economy cabin (no news is released of a premium economy cabin on the A350) offering Airbus’ standard 18inch wide economy seats.
The seats naturally will come with inseat TVs featuring a wealth of touchscreen entertainment.
One thing is for sure, these images showcase a new era for Vietnam Airlines that suffered from an ageing fleet previously. And with the new aircraft penned in for this year, along with new flights to London Heathrow, the carrier has a new dawn in 2015, and is becoming an appealing travel prospect in the near future.