Thai Airways announced orders for four Airbus A350-900 XWBs and five A320 aircraft. The announcement came hot on the heels of Cathay Pacific (see story here) and Singapore Airlines’ combined orders for a total of 12 new Boeing B777-300ER (see story here), reflecting a confidence in the aviation industry amongst Asian carriers.
Deliveries of the new A320 aircraft will begin in 2014 and the first A350-900 will join the fleet in 2016. The carrier is also expected to receive its first superjumbo A380 next year, which will feature 507 seats and a three-class configuration on the upperdeck (for more details click here or click here for a computer-generated video of its interiors).
Acquiring these new aircraft is part of Thai’s fleet modernisation programme, which strives to bring the average age of its fleet from the current 11.7 to eight. Thai has also been retrofitting select aircraft with upgraded seats, which will be completed by the end of next year (see story here). Thai Airways president, Piyavasti Amranand, hopes that all of these plans together will help the carrier regain lost market share in face of aggressive competition (see story here). He said: “The A350 XWB and A320 will play a significant role in ensuring that Thai operates one of the most modern and efficient fleets, strengthen its competitiveness and increase its market share.”
For more information, visit www.thaiairways.com