Thai Airways has taken delivery of its first B787-9 Dreamliner, which is set to begin flying on the airline’s flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket this weekend before getting deployed on its medium- and long-haul services next month.

The aircraft joins Thai Airways’ existing six B787-8 Dreamliner predecessors, which have a lower capacity and shorter range than the B787-9. While the aircraft will enable Thai Airways to fly to new destinations directly, such as North America, the current schedule for the carrier has it staying in Asia-Pacific.

From September 23 to 30, the aircraft will fly on the aforementioned domestic routes before being deployed to Singapore from October 1 to November 15, by which point the airline’s second B787-9 is expected to have been received. The new Dreamliner will then operate round-trip flights from Bangkok to Auckland and to Taipei from November 16 onwards.

Speaking about the delivery, Boeing senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India sales, Dinesh Keskar, said: “The 787-9 Dreamliner will allow Thai to fly longer distances and to new destinations directly from Thailand – such as non-stop to North America – while providing their passengers with their exceptional onboard experience complimented by the 787 Dreamliner’s well-known and loved passenger features such as the largest window of any jet.”

Among the most notable features of the B787-9 is the change from a 2-2-2 layout in Royal Silk (business) class to a 1-2-1 set up, enabling each passenger to have direct aisle access. There are also more seats in business class compared to its predecessor – 30 as opposed to 24 – with fully flat seating provided.

Economy is also larger, with 268 seats in the new aircraft, 28 more than the B787-8 though retaining the same 3-3-3 configuration. In-flight wifi is also available.