Thai Airways aims to resume new aircraft deliveries in 4Q2019
Thai Airways VP for alliances and commercial Krittaphon Chantalitanon, speaking to CAPA on the sidelines of the IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit, stated (04-Jun-2018) the airline still aims to secure late 2019 delivery slots for new aircraft despite delays in placing orders. CAPA reported in late 2017 that Thai was evaluating new narrowbody and widebody aircraft and could place in early 2018 its first new aircraft order in six years. Mr Krittaphon said the original thought was to make a decision and place orders in 1H2018 but the process has been delayed. He said Thai still needs to secure approval from the board and government and has not internally made a final decision on which types to order or the mix. Thai Airways is aiming to initially order 20 aircraft consisting of additional A320 family aircraft for Thai Smile and new generation widebody aircraft for the parent airline. Mr Krittaphon said "if possible" Thai would like deliveries to start in 4Q2019 but acknowledged it will be challenging to secure slots before 2020. Thai Airways does not have any aircraft on order, having recently completed its previous aircraft acquisition programme with the delivery of its last A350. If Thai is unable to secure any new aircraft until 2020 the airline may have to delay the phase out of its Boeing 747 fleet. Mr Krittaphon said the current plan is for most of Thai's 747-400 fleet to retire in 2019.