THAI’s first A350 arrives in Bangkok
At 09.47hrs yesterday the first of what will be twelve A350s, ordered by Thai Airways (THAI), touched down at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Mr. Areepong Bhoocha-oom, THAI Chairman of the Board of Directors, was present to welcome THAI’s first Airbus A350 XWB; along with Mr. Charamporn Jotikasthira, THAI President, Mr. Jean Francois Laval Executive Vice President, sales, Southeast Asia, Airbus, Mr. Robert Lamoureux, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific, CIT Group Inc., Mr. Ewen McDonald Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Rolls-Royce, and other guests of honour.
Mr. Charamporn Jotikasthira, THAI President, who flew with the aircraft from Toulouse, said that the Company has ordered 12 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft, which will greatly modernise the fleet. THAI is boosting efforts to reduce losses and turn the company around. Mr. Charamporn Jotikasthira said the planes would help maintain the airline’s quality standards and provide passengers with more convenience.
The A350 XWB is the world’s latest generation airliner and the newest member of Airbus’ wide-body product family. Weight-saving carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines result in a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB can perform flights of up to 19 hours. Thai Airways, has four of the type on order and eight on lease including today’s aircraft. The aircraft will be fitted with 321 seats in two classes, 32 in business class and 289 in economy.
With the A350-900, THAI passengers will experience that “Extra Sensation,” with an Xtra wide body experience, Xtra wide cabin and Xtra high ceiling, Xtra wide 18-inch seat for Xtra comfort in Economy Class, and Xtra quiet cabin.
Royal Silk Business Class passenger will have seats that fully reclining (180 degrees), 41.46 inches between seat rows and a seat width of 21 inches. Each seat is equipped with a 16 inch touchscreen that can connect to Wi-Fi and communication devices.
In Economy class, seats have a pitch of 32 inches and 18 inch seat width. Each seat is equipped with an 11 inch touchscreen that can connect to Wi-Fi and communication devices.
The first two aircraft, each with a price list of US$355.7m, are designed to operate long-haul flights and after an initial period flying on regional services between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the aircraft will be deployed on long-haul flights, starting with Bangkok-Melbourne in September 2016. Currently, THAI has 23 Airbus aircraft in its fleet, including newly acquired aircraft. THAI recently received the Skytrax Award 2016 as the world’s Most Improved Airline.
About the author:
Andrew J. Wood
A professional hotelier, Skalleague, travel writer and director of WDA Co. Ltd (tours/travel), Andrew has over 35 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh (Hospitality Studies).
A UK national, Andrew was born in Yorkshire and prior to moving to Thailand Andrew gained valuable post graduate experience with Thistle Hotels (UK); Hilton Intl (Paris) and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (London). He started his hotel career in Thailand with Shangri-La Hotels, Royal Garden Hotels and Resorts and the Landmark Group of Hotels (Thailand and UK) and later became General Manager of some of the country’s leading hotels including the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, Pattaya.
Andrew is a former board member and Director of Skal International (SI), National President SI THAILAND and President of SI BANGKOK. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand including Assumption University’s Hospitality School.
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