Vietnam Airlines is doing away with its entire fleet of A330 planes. In fact, the carrier has officially stopped flying the model. Vietnam Airlines is planning to upgrade its fleet using a mix of newer aircraft models.

Vietnam Airlines has used A330 planes for roughly 96,000 flights since 2006. More than 20 million passengers have flown in the carrier's A330 planes. An upgraded fleet doesn't necessarily mean that customers won't be seeing some familiar planes. Vietnam Airlines doesn't plan to abandon Airbus completely as it upgrades its fleet. The focus will now be shifted to newer Airbus models.

The A350 is expected to be a highlight of Vietnam's upgraded fleet. A switch to the A350 will make it possible for Vietnam Airlines to reduce costs related to fuel consumption and maintenance. In addition, the A350 will reduce emissions for the airline. We also know that Vietnam Airlines is focused on bringing some new Boeing models into its fleet. The carrier began using new Boeing 787-9 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft last month.

The decision to make a fleet upgrade comes just as Vietnam Airlines is making big plans for expansion. The carrier was recently cleared to begin offering direct flights to the United States. Vietnam Airlines will become the first Vietnamese airline to fly directly to the United States. Direct flights offered by Vietnam Airlines are expected to depart from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. As many as 34 wide-body planes will need to be in the Vietnam Airlines fleet by 2025 to keep everything going smoothly. A total of 40 wide-body aircraft will be needed by 2030.

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at GET.com and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: scott.dylan@get.com.