Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) has signed a contract with Airbus covering the firm order of four A350-900s and five A320 aircraft, becoming a new customer for both aircraft types. The aircraft have been selected by the airline under its fleet modernisation programme, with the A350 XWB set to operate on long haul services to Europe and the A320s on domestic and regional routes.
In addition to the aircraft ordered from Airbus, the airline is also leasing 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," said Piyasvasti Amranand, President of THAI. "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 benefitting from the lowest operating costs and cleaner environmental performance."
"This order from THAI reflects the unbeatable operating economics offered by the Airbus product range across the various market sectors," said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. "Whether for short regional services or long intercontinental routes, Airbus has the right products with the lowest operating costs to meet every airline requirement."
THAI 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 today, the airline is also set to become a new operator of the A380 in the second half of 2012.
The 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, the A350 XWB is one of most successful aircraft programmes ever, with over 570 firm orders already received from 36 customers worldwide.
The A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321) is recognised as the benchmark single-aisle aircraft family. Close to 7,700 A320 Family aircraft have already been ordered and more than 4,700 delivered to over 330 customers and operators worldwide.