Thai Airways International (THAI) has taken delivery of its first Airbus A380 at a delivery ceremony in Toulouse, France.
The national carrier’s Vice President of Technical, Captain Montree Jumrieng, was handed the keys of the double-decker aircraft by Kiran Rao, Airbus’ Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, in a ceremony also attended by Nick Devall, Chief Commercial Officer for Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce, whose Trent 900 engines will power all six of THAI’s A380s.
Speaking at the delivery ceremony, Captain Montree said the superjumbo would secure THAI’s “competitive advantage as one of the world’s premium carriers”, and would “add new dimensions to our customer appeal”.
This customer appeal will include offering Panasonic Avionics’ eX2 in-flight entertainment system in all cabins, with 23-inch seatback monitors in Royal First class, 15.4-inch in Royal Silk business class and 10.6-inch in economy, featuring more than 100 movies, 150 TV programmes, music channels and internet and mobile connectivity in all cabins. THAI’s A380s will be configured with 507 seats – 12 Royal First suites with an 85-inch pitch, 60 lie-flat seats in Royal Silk with a 44-inch pitch, and 435 seats in economy with a 32-inch pitch.
THAI’s first A380 will fly from the Airbus delivery centre to Bangkok tomorrow (Friday 28 September), carrying THAI executives and media on its maiden flight. The aircraft will then enter commercial service on 6 October 2012, operating morning flights to Hong Kong and afternoon services to Singapore. These flights will run on a temporary basis until 14 December, with the aircraft’s first scheduled long-haul services between Bangkok and Frankfurt commencing a day later.
THAI’s A380 fleet will double in December 2012 with the delivery of its second superjumbo, while four more are scheduled to arrive in 2013. These new aircraft will enable THAI to progressively add more A380 destinations, starting in January next year with Tokyo and then continuing to Paris, Osaka, Sydney and London by October 2013.
Travel Daily will be on today’s delivery flight from Toulouse to Bangkok, so tune next week to see all the photos and reviews of the aircraft’s in-flight cabin products.