While I always try to stay on top of the latest route announcements for new aircraft, sometimes they slip through the cracks.
What I missed is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that Thai Airways would be taking delivery of their first Boeing 787 “Dreamliners” in a few months, and beginning longhaul commercial service on them in the second quarter. Australian Business Traveller has all the details.
Thai Airways announced that they would be launching Boeing 787 service between Bangkok and Perth as of July 1, 2014, followed by service between Bangkok and Tokyo Haneda as of August 1, 2014.
The Perth 787 flight has been loaded into the GDS and operates with the following schedule:
TG483 Bangkok to Perth departing 11:59PM arriving 7:45AM (+1 day)
TG484 Perth to Bangkok departing 9:15AM arriving 3:15PM
The inaugural flight in both directions even has business class award space!
Meanwhile the Tokyo Haneda 787 flight hasn’t actually been loaded into the GDS yet — as of now only the daily Thai 747 flight appears in the schedule.
I think the excitement of the 787 as such has worn off a bit due to all the “issues,” though what makes Thai’s 787s exciting are that they will feature their new business class product.
The Perth route, for example, is presently operated by an A330 with angled business class seats. According to Australian Business Traveller, Thai’s 787s will feature 24 fully flat business class seats and 240 economy class seats. The cabin is part of their “Thai Contemporary Concept,” which features staggered seats in business class.
It’s interesting to note that Thai doesn’t actually own these 787s, but is instead leasing them from ILFC, which has 74 787s on order.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Thai is notorious for equipment substitutions and delays in taking delivery of new aircraft, so I wouldn’t assume the schedule is set in stone. I don’t think there’s an airline that swaps aircraft around more than Thai, so it’s always something to be aware of.