Thai Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will once again fly the airline’s Bangkok-London Heathrow route, with the aircraft set to replace the Airbus A350 that currently flies one of its two daily services between the cities starting February 1, 2018.
The equipment change backtracks on Thai Airways’ decision last year, which saw the newer A350 take over flights TG916/TG917 from the B777-300ER in September. The carrier’s second daily flight is operated by its A380 superjumbo.
Switching back to the B777-300ER gives passengers an additional 10 seats in business class (42 total) to choose from, along with 17 more economy class seats (306 total) compared with the A350.
The actual seat products and layout are essentially the same on each aircraft. Business class seats are configured 1-2-1 in a staggered, forward-facing layout that provides direct aisle access to all passengers, and offer 20 inches of width and a fully flat recline. Economy class, meanwhile, is set up 3-3-3 and seats are 18 inches wide.
However, one difference in the business class cabin is that the B777-300ER separates it into two sections of 24 and 18 seats with the galley and toilets in the centre. Travellers who prefer to be further away from the galley and bathrooms will therefore find it harder to do so.
According to Thai Airways, the airline is reintroducing the B777-300ER on the route “due to high customer demand”. For fans of the A350, however, the equipment change will be disappointing.
When Thai Airways first switched over to the A350 on the route, it was keen to highlight the aircraft’s many comfort-focused features, notably its advanced air management system, better air pressure control, improved soundproofing, and ambient LED lighting – all intended to improve passenger comfort and help reduce jet lag. These will no longer be available to passengers on the London route.
Flight TG916 departs Bangkok at 1320 and arrives in London at 1935, a flight time of 13 hours and 15 minutes. The overnight return TG917 is shorter, at just 11 hours 25 minutes, and departs London at 2135 and arrives in Bangkok at 1600 the following day.