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Thai Airways International has taken another major step in its long term fleet expansion plan, by acquiring six A380 double-decker aircraft to be delivered in 2008/09.
The airline is also committed to expanding its new fleet of A340-500s and A340-600s, by deciding to acquire one additional aircraft of each type. The airline previously placed an order for three A340-500s and five A340-600s in August 2003, with all eight of these aircraft due for delivery in 2005. The additional A340-500 and A340-600 will be respectively delivered in 2007 and 2008.
Thai Airways International’s A380s are destined to operate on major trunk routes from Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi airport to destinations in Europe, whilst the A340-500s will be operated on a completely new network of ultra long-haul services from Bangkok to North America. The A340-600s will be deployed on services to cities in Europe and North America. Thai Airways International currently operates an Airbus fleet of 21 A300-600Rs and 12 A330-300s on regional and domestic routes.
“The relationship between Thai Airways International and Airbus stretches back to the first A300 order in 1977 and I am naturally delighted to see the airline once again select our latest generation widebody A380 and A340 aircraft for its long haul fleet expansion. With Thailand’s strong domestic economy and booming tourism & trade, I am particularly confident of a bright future for Thai Airways International’s new Airbus fleet operating from the all new Suvarnabhumi hub airport.” said Noel Forgeard, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer.
With Thai Airways International’s selection, Airbus has now 139 orders and commitments from 13 customers for the A380 programme. Built to the latest and most stringent certification requirements, the 555-seater A380 double decker embodies the most advanced technologies, providing 15 to 20 per cent lower operating costs than the largest aircraft flying today and 10 to 15 per cent more range.
Offering the highest degree of operational flexibility and economy combined with unmatched passenger comfort, Airbus’ A330/A340 Family of aircraft has established market leadership in the 240-380 seat category with more than 820 orders from 64 customers to date. This includes over 210 orders from 18 customers in the Asia-Pacific region.
All Airbus aircraft feature the latest technology at no extra charge – such as advanced fuel-saving aerodynamics, including wing tip fences, widespread weight-saving carbonfibre composites, and pilot and maintenance-friendly fly-by-wire controls and centralised maintenance.
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