Thai Airways to get latest cutting-edge Airbus models
Two of the latest model Airbus 350 aircraft will be delivered to Thai Airways International (THAI) in August and September.
The two A350 XWBs are among 12 aircraft ordered by the Thai flag carrier with the rest being delivered next year.
The two aircraft, designed to operate long-haul flights, will be used to serve flights between Bangkok and Melbourne, Australia.
A350 XWB (Xtra-Wide-Body) is the latest model of the wide-body aircraft family and comes with cutting-edge technology.
The Airbus price list says the current cost of such an A350 is US$355.7 (12.57 billion baht) but cautions, "Price depends on design weights, engines choice and level of selected customisation". Thai Airways International gave no information on what it is paying for the new fleet.
THAI is boosting efforts to reduce losses and turn the company around. Its president, Charamporn Jotikasthira, said the planes would help maintain the airline's quality standards and provide passengers with more convenience.
The airline plans to launch thrice-weekly flights between Bangkok and Tehran, Iran, on Oct 1 on the back of strong demand. It will also resume flights between Bangkok and Moscow on Nov 1. The route was suspended last year as part of its restructuring plan.
Alan Pardoe, head of marketing communications for Airbus, said Asia Pacific is a major market for the aviation industry as the market continues to grow.
In the region, a total of 3.5 billion flights were offered last year, with the number expected to double in 15 years' time.
As of this year, Airbus had a 6,746-aircraft backlog of demand. Orders include demand for 970 Airbus 320s, 4,509 Airbus 320 Neos and 777 Airbus 350 XWBs.
According to Mr Pardoe, A350 XWB has a spacious cabin which offers convenience to passengers in all classes. The aircraft is capable of handling 321 passengers.
With larger windows, passengers can enjoy better views and feel more relaxed, Mr Pardoe said, adding the overhead compartments are also designed to handle more luggage.
Every seat is equipped with a 16-inch multi-touch screen for entertainment and passengers can connect WiFi to their electronic devices, Mr Pardoe said.
"This model uses 25% less energy, which helps reduce the cost per seat per mile during the journey," said Mr Pardoe.
According to Airbus' website, the A350 XWB offers more personal space and 18-inch wide seats as standard in economy. The model can also perform flights of up to 19 hours.