Thai Airways international is expanding its Airbus A350 network with plans for a long-awaited Melbourne service to be followed by a second A350 flight early next year.
The airline received the first of 12 A350s in August, 2016, and destinations served by the fuel-efficient plane now include London, Frankfurt, Rome, Milan and Brussels.
The first Melbourne A350 service, which touched down October 1, will replace a Boeing 777 to operate Thai’s daily non-stop Melbourne-Bangkok afternoon service with connections to Europe and other destinations.
But it came a year later than originally expected.
It was originally scheduled to start flying to Melbourne in September, 2016, but the airline said at the time the service would be delayed because the approval process required by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority would not be completed in time.
With the service now underway, Thai says it plans to also operate the evening flight from Melbourne with the A350 from February, 2018, “subject to confirmation”.
Thai’s A350s are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines and a combination of composite and titanium materials means advantages such as better fuel burn, a more comfortable cabin altitude and reduced maintenance costs.
The airline has 32 lie flat business class seats in Royal Silk Class with a seat pitch of up to 46 inches, a 16-inch touchscreen with on-demand content and a 1-2-1 configuration giving aisle access from every seat.
Its 289 economy class seats, with a seat pitch of 32 inches and an 18-inch seat width, come with an 11-inch touchsreen.
Meanwhile, the Thai carrier also recently opened new lounges in the popular holiday resort of Phuket.
The new Royal Orchid lounges are located on the fourth floor of Phuket International Airport’s international terminal.
Designed to showcase the Thai’s trademark orchid theme and a sea wave concept, the lounges feature different zones and a range of amenities such as high-speed wi-fi and USB power ports.