From The Old Days
The history of Vietnam Airlines dates back to January 1956, when the Vietnam Civil Aviation Department was established by the Government, marking the birth of the civil aviation industry in Vietnam. At that time, the fleet was small with only five aircraft of IL-14, AN-2, Aero-45… which started to serve domestic flights in September 1956.
April 1993 was a major turning point when Vietnam Airlines was officially established as the country’s national flag carrier. On the 27th May 1996, Vietnam Airlines Corporation was born with the gathering of 20 aviation enterprises and the airline itself as the core business.
Innovation Taking Place
On 20th October 2002, Vietnam Airlines introduced the new logo of the Golden Lotus and corporate identity that symbolized its dramatic progress towards becoming a world-class airline. The launch represented a complete repositioning and brand strategy of Vietnam Airlines, coupled with significant improvements in its infrastructure, operations and fleet.
The delivery of its first own “state-of-the-art” B777 in 2003 also marked a true revolution in the airline’s fleet modernization. Three years later, Vietnam Airlines became one of the most modern fleets in the region.
For 15 years of development with an average annual growth rate of over 10 percent (except 1997 when the Asian financial crisis broke out), the national flag carrier has marked an obvious advance to become a major competitor in the Asian aviation market, owning a modern fleet of Airbus and Boeing planes flown by well trained professionals.
Beginning with non-regular services between two domestic destinations, today Vietnam Airlines expands its network to 20 cities throughout the country and 26 international destinations in the USA, Europe, Australia and Asia.
In 2006, after being awarded the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate, a strict safety standard set by Aviation Quality Services (AQS), Vietnam Airlines joined the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as an official member, affirming its international standard.
In June 2010, Vietnam Airlines officially joined SkyTeam, the world’s second largest global airline alliance, affirming the carrier’s new position on the global aviation map and the strategic partner of the alliance in Southeast Asia region as well as its international standard services.
Positioning its internationally recognized brand as a young and modern carrier, Vietnam Airlines excelled further when signing large purchase orders of world’s most modern, environment-friendly aircraft, such as Boeing B787 and Airbus A350-900. The airline is expected to reach 115 and 170 modern aircraft in 2015 and 2020, respectively, making solid steps integrating into the global aviation industry as a truly regional carrier of choice, which is fully ingrained with Vietnamese traditional culture.
Vietnam Airlines signed a contract to buy 90 Airbus A330 airplanes in 2002. Besides, it also purchased 8 Boeing 777-200 and 9 Boeing 777-300 airplanes in order to improve its aircraft quality. Vietnam Airlines also moved its operation from Sheremetyevo to Domodedovo Internatioanl Airport on 18th October, 2002.
On 20th June 2005, the airline started to go into operation in Germany for the second time with 2 flights/ week between Frankfurt and Hanoi/ Ho Chi Minh City. In 2004-2005, the number of seats accounted for 70% when the flights between the two countries were exploited.
After getting an IOSA certification (International Operational Safety Audit) granted by IATA (International Air Transport Association) in 2006, Vietnam Airlines has officially become a member of IATA and has chance to confirm its international standard service quality.
Vietnam Airlines signed a document to take part in the world's second largest airline alliance on 15th April 2009. Accordingly, Vietnam Airlines will become the significant partner of Sky Team’s members in the globe as well as in the Southeast Asia. Furthermore, passengers of Vietnam Airlines can reach over 950 destinations all over the world, carry out procedures only once, and get many other benefits when Vietnam Airlines joins in Sky Team.
In October 2011, Vietnam Airlines signed an agreement to book 8 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes. It is expected to have these airplanes in 2015.
Vietnam Airlines started to open a direct air route between Vietnam and London on 8th December 2011.