Thai Airways International has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380, becoming the ninth airline to operate the world’s largest airliner.
The aircraft was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, executive vice president technical of Thai Airways International, by Kiran Rao, executive vice president sales and marketing for Airbus, at a ceremony in Toulouse on September 27.
Thai Airways International has ordered six A380s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The airline has specified a premium three-class layout for its fleet, seating a total of 507 passengers.
All classes feature new cabin designs, with 12 private suites in First Class, 60 fully flat-bed seats in Royal Silk Class business class and 435 seats in Economy. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems, communication outlets and individual power supply.
“With the A380 Thai will elevate its Royal Orchid Service to a new level,” said Jumrieng. “In every class we are offering a new dimension in passenger appeal, from redesigned seating to the latest entertainment systems. These features, combined with the aircraft’s quiet and spacious cabin, will truly make the Thai A380 the smoothest way to fly.”
“We chose the Airbus A380 aircraft because it is preferred by passengers for its spacious cabin – offering extra flying comfort,” said Capt. Montree Jumrieng, Thai Airways International’s executive vice president, Technical Dept. “Throughout our 50-year history, Thai has built a very strong reputation for the quality of its Royal Orchid Service as one of Asia’s most admired airlines. The six A380s joining our fleet will continue this tradition, and add new dimensions in customer appeal.”
Capt. Montree said Thai’s decision to configure its A380 fleet with only 507 seats per aircraft is aligned with the airline’s strategy to offer more modern and enhanced state-of-the-art products and services “at every customer touch point.”
The airline’s A380s are outfitted with personal entertainment screens, individual power supplies, internet connectivity, in-flight Wi-Fi and access for in-flight mobile telephones, along with SMS and MMS messaging.
“Since the A380 first entered service almost five years ago, it has exceeded all expectations, proving to be a game-changer in every way,” Airbus EVP Rao told the invitees at the delivery ceremony. “In terms of performance, operators are reporting reductions in fuel consumption of up to 20 per cent per seat compared to the 747-400. The A380 also is delivering on its environmental promises, with significant reductions in carbon emissions and a much lower noise footprint than even some aircraft half its size.”
Thai Airways International will inaugurate commercial service with the A380 in early October on the Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes. As more aircraft are delivered, the airline will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris early in 2013.
The A380 is capable of flying 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 kilometers) non-stop with a full payload. From Bangkok this enables non-stop service with a full payload to any destination in Europe or one-stop service to anywhere in the U.S.