The sights and sound of Thailand came to Airbus’ Toulouse, France delivery centre today as Thai Airways International (THAI) received the first of six A380s on order, which will bring a new dimension to the airline’s in-flight experience when it enters service next month.
Introduced by a troupe of dancers representing the four regions of Thailand, THAI’s no. 1 A380 was revealed to a capacity crowd of invited guests during the mid-day delivery ceremony, followed by photo sessions and visits to the aircraft.
“We chose the Airbus A380 aircraft because it is preferred by passengers for its spacious cabin – offering extra flying comfort,” explained Capt. Montree Jumrieng, THAI’s Executive Vice President, Technical Dept. “Throughout our 50-year history, THAI has built a very strong reputation for the quality of its Royal Orchid Service as one of Asia’s most admired airlines. The six A380s joining our fleet will continue this tradition, and add new dimensions in customer appeal.”
Capt. Montree noted that THAI’s decision to configure the A380 fleet with only 507 seats – 12 in Royal First Class, 60 for its Royal Silk executive class, and 435 in economy – is aligned with THAI’s strategy to offer more modern and enhanced state-of-the-art products and services “at every customer touch point.” The airline’s A380s are outfitted with personal entertainment screens, individual power supplies, internet connectivity, Wi-Fi and access for in-flight mobile telephones, along with SMS and MMS messaging.
Kiran Rao, the Airbus Executive Vice President for Sales & Marketing, said THAI becomes the ninth airline to receive A380s, joining what he described as the elite club of world-class carriers that define the air transport industry’s leaders.
“Since the A380 first entered service almost five years ago, it has exceeded all expectations, proving to be a game-changer in every way,” he told the invitees at the delivery ceremony. “In terms of performance, operators are reporting reductions in fuel consumption of up to 20 percent per seat compared to the 747-400. The A380 also is delivering on its environmental promises, with significant reductions in carbon emissions and a much lower noise footprint than even some aircraft half its size.”