Thai Airways International has signed a firm order with Airbus for four A350-900s and five A320s, becoming a new customer for both aircraft types....

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited has signed a firm order for four A350-900s and five A320s, becoming a new customer for both aircraft types.

The aircraft have been selected by Thai Airways International under its fleet-modernization programme, with the A350 XWBs set to operate on Thai’s long-haul services to Europe and the A320s on domestic and regional routes.

In addition to the aircraft ordered from Airbus, the airline has also agreed to lease eight additional A350-900s and six more A320s from third-party lessors.

“The A350 XWB and A320 will play a significant role in ensuring that Thai operates one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the region moving forwards. They will also help Thai strengthen its competitiveness, increase its market share and ensure its future as a strong and sustainable airline,” says Piyasvasti Amranand, president of Thai Airways International.

Thai Airways International operates a sizable fleet of Airbus jets and has A320s and A350 XWBs on order, both directly from Airbus and from leasing companies. Captured here is Thai Airways International Airbus A340-600 HS-TNA taking off from London Heathrow Airport

“With these fuel-efficient aircraft we will be able to offer passengers the highest levels of comfort on both long-haul and shorter regional routes, while benefiting from the lowest operating costs and cleaner environmental performance,” adds Amranand.

Thai Airways is one of Airbus’ longest-standing customers and currently operates a fleet including the A340, A330 and A300-600. In addition to the aircraft types ordered on August 11, the airline is also set to become a new operator of the A380 in the second half of 2012.

Thai Airways International is a member of the Star Alliance. Here, a Thai Airbus A330 wearing the Star Alliance livery is loaded with cargo

The Airbus A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family is an all-new, long-range product line comprising three models capable of flying between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts on flights of up to 8,500 nautical miles. Scheduled for entry into service in 2013 in the form of the A350-900, the A350 XWB has already received more than 570 firm orders from 36 customers worldwide.

Nearly 7,700 Airbus A320-family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,700 delivered to over 330 customers and operators worldwide.