Thai Airways Outlook Part 1: capacity, widebody fleet expansion resumes in 2017 with focus on Europe
Thai Airways is planning to resume capacity expansion in 2017 with additional flights to Europe driving most of the ASK growth. The group projects a nearly 6% increase in ASKs in 2017, restoring capacity to 2013 levels after three years of declines.
Thai Airways plans to take delivery of seven aircraft in 2017 – five A350-900s and two 787-9s – while phasing out just two aircraft (two A330s). As a result, the group’s widebody passenger fleet will increase by five aircraft, enabling a resumption of long haul capacity growth. Thai is able to expand in Europe as the A350-900s and 787-9s are delivered, and is also intending to use either type to launch nonstop flights to the US in late 2017.
Thai Airways also plans to retrofit 15 of its existing widebody aircraft in 2017, including six 787-8s, six 777-200ERs and three A330-300s. The 787-8 retrofits include new crew bunks, enabling the type to be used on long haul routes to Europe and supporting further long haul capacity growth.
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