Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321 – Photo: Aero Icarus | Flickr CC
After spending the previous couple of cold winter months in Seattle, New York, and Boston, as well as visiting Tokyo (cold), Kyoto (cold and breezy), Taipei (rainy), and Hong Kong (windy and rainy) on this trip, I was glad to have planned a “vacation within a vacation” to spend some time in the sun and sand in the middle of my Asian trip.
Danang (sometimes spelled Da Nang), the third-largest economic center in Vietnam behind Saigon and Hanoi, is famous for its stretches of beaches along the South China Sea. The area known as “China Beach” to American soldiers during the Vietnam War is currently earmarked for luxury resort development.
Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa Danang – Photo: John Nguyen
Danang International Airport (DAD) is also the country’s third-busiest airport and treated as Vietnam Airlines‘ (VNA) central domestic hub, though it has quite a few direct international flights on foreign carriers as well.
I was fortunate enough to book a mid-April stay (one of the best times to be in Danang, weather-wise) at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa Danang, selected because of its location right on the water and a private beach.
The initial A350 XWB for Vietnam Airlines rolled out of Airbus’ Toulouse paint shop on 6 March 2015, displaying the airline’s updated blue and gold lotus livery
Vietnam Airlines, the government-owned national flag carrier for Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is on the cusp of its first major international expansion in over a decade.
The airline has made no secret of its desire to become the second-largest carrier in Southeast Asia by 2020, behind Singapore Airlines. With the financial near-collapses of regional competitors Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines and the upcoming expansion of its long-haul fleet, Vietnam Airlines is poised to gain significant market share and inch closer to its goal of regional domination.
A member of the SkyTeam alliance, Vietnam currently operates a full-service schedule to 52 destinations in 17 countries, with an active fleet of 77 aircraft.
Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777-2Q8 (ER) VN-A149 is racing down runway 18W in front of the fire station.
Where more and more liveries are going to mostly being white and not being unique, Vietnam Airlines has a gorgeous metallic blue livery.
Image: Thomas Becker