Prized certification marks key developmental milestone for flag carrier after transformative year
12 July 2016 – National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines www.vietnamairlines.com has been certified as a 4-Star Airline by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax ranking it alongside some of the world’s most reputable airlines, including British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa. Vietnam Airlines new President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Duong Tri Thanh, accepted the official certification during the World Airline Awards event at Farnborough International Airshow 2016.
Awarded after comprehensive Skytrax evaluation across all customer-facing product and service factors both onboard flights and at airports served by Vietnam Airlines, the prestigious 4-Star Airline certification is recognition for the significant recent improvements that Vietnam Airlines has made to the quality of its product and service standards, as part of its strategic plan to establish itself as the leading carrier for the region.
Last year Vietnam Airlines underwent a dramatic transformation, launching its new corporate identity and beginning a major fleet-wide upgrade to replace its entire fleet of wide body aircraft – significantly enhancing its product offering. 2015 saw Vietnam Airlines become the first airline to operate the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner nonstop between Southeast Asia and Europe, and the first Asian airline to operate both Boeing and Airbus’ modern next-generation aircraft at the same time. A total of 19 Boeing 787s and 14 Airbus A350-900 XWBs will be delivered to Vietnam Airlines by early 2019.
At the same time, Vietnam Airlines implemented a programmed to upgrade service levels to international 4-Star Airline standards – spearheaded by Vietnam Airlines’ new President and CEO Mr. Thanh in his previous role as Executive Vice President. Commenting on the news, Mr. Thanh said “I am honored to accept this highly prestigious accolade on behalf of Vietnam Airlines. This fantastic achievement is testament to the hard work of all of Vietnam Airlines’ dedicated employees, and an important indicator of the excellent progress we are making towards our goal of becoming one of the best-regarded airlines in Asia-Pacific.”
Mr. Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax said “This 4-Star Airline rating is an excellent achievement for Vietnam Airlines and the result of their hard work across a range of product and service areas. Introducing two brand new aircraft types into the fleet in such a short space of time is a difficult task, but the reward for Vietnam Airlines is a fabulous new product in their core long haul market. We acknowledge the considerable change and improvement they have achieved, with a new service concept rolled out in Business Class and an overhaul of cabin staff training procedures – all of which will further strengthen Vietnam Airlines position as a major Asian airline.”
Vietnam Airlines offers the UK’s only nonstop flights to Vietnam, operating daily services from Heathrow Terminal 4 to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Flights are carefully scheduled to offer convenient overnight journeys in both directions, and excellent onward connections via its comprehensive network of over 40 destinations in Asia, including 16 within Vietnam 5 in Indochina and the rest in other countries.
Return fares from Heathrow to Ho Chi Minh City currently start from £396 per person, inclusive of taxes. For further information and reservations visit www.vietnamairlines.com or speak to a travel agent.
The iconic The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, situated on a peaceful 60-acre estate in Northern Thailand, offers a magical backdrop in which children and adults alike can absorb Thai culture with a fantastic range of experiences, guaranteeing lasting memories for the whole family.
This fantastical resort, conceived as an ancient walled city, offers a sense of place like few others and this is reflected in its carefully curated activities, designed to immerse guests of all ages into local culture. Perfect for all the family, from little ones to adults, the resort’s Art and Craft Village offers an array of creative craft activities, from umbrella painting and paper making to bamboo weaving, which is led by a group of local village women who will help guests create beautiful artefacts and traditional toys from the plant’s leaves.
The building’s tiny resident petting ponies and llamas are sure to make a great ice breaker for children who can then choose from a varied range of activities to stretch and stimulate them mentally and physically, whilst offering an insight into traditional Lanna (the ancient kingdom of northern Thailand) and Thai culture. Classes include Thai dancing and music and traditional Thai games and toys – children can also benefit for Thailand’s rich culture of wellness with mini Thai kick boxing classes and yoga for kids.
A must-try for visitors of all ages is the rice planting: donning a traditional protective tunic, the instantly recognisable Non La hat and waterproof socks, the session will teach budding rice farmers how the grain is grown from seed to harvest and includes the opportunity for all to wade into the squidgy warm mud and plant a few rows for themselves. Children will adore riding the water buffalo, which will obligingly walk little ones through the plantation.
Meanwhile adults can enjoy the Dhara Dhevi Cooking Academy, which stages daily Thai cooking classes, relax in the Jum Sri Hall Library, with one of its 5,000+ books, browse the 20 boutiques in Kad Dhara Shopping Village, or unwind and reboot at the Health and Fitness Centre and legendary Dheva Spa where in depth Ayurveda-based programmes are carried out in 11 spacious treatments suites.
Parents keen to make the most of the wide array of gourmet eating and drinking options at the resort can book the baby-sitting service, which is available on request. All tastes and nationalities are catered for with international cuisines of the highest calibre, from Japanese dishes at the light and airy Ren; Chinese at Fujian, formal French at Farang Ses and contemporary international cuisine at the Akaligo, which offers views through wall to ceiling windows. There is even a Victorian Style tea salon, the Dhara Dhevi Cake Shop which caters to the sweet toothed serving decadent treats. Fabulously chic watering holes include the louche Horn Bar, an after dark cocktail bar, the al fresco Loy Kham Bar which overlooks the serene infinity pool and the Colonial Pool Bar, which centers around the heart of the resort, the spectacular and imposing blue and white tiled swimming pool.
Easily accessible via a 15-minute car transfer from Chiang Mai International Airport, the Dhara Dhevi makes for an immersive cultural experience perfect for crafting lasting family memories.
ABOUT THE DHARA DHEVI:
The Dhara Dhevi is one of Asia’s foremost luxury hotels. More an experience than simply a hotel, this iconic property represents extravagant Thai luxury at its finest. Nestling in 60 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical grounds, enjoying a picturesque and secluded setting in the countryside in the North, the resort has established itself as a classic ‘must visit’ for high end travellers to Thailand. Its location on the outskirts of historic Chiang Mai, a walled ancient city known for its rich history of art and culture, is reflected throughout the resort. The spectacular accommodation was built in keeping with traditional Lanna and colonial style architecture, set among lush paddy fields. 69 traditional Thai villas each boast a private swimming, or plunge pools, Jacuzzi tubs and separate showers. 54 Colonial Suites featuring separate living and bedroom areas with private terraces overlook the pool, lake or stunning verdant gardens.