National carrier Thai Airways International (Thai) has taken delivery of the first of its ordered six Airbus A380 super jumbo, becoming the ninth airline to operate the world’s largest airliner. The aircraft, tail number HS-TUA, was handed over to Captain Montree Jumrieng, Executive Vice President Technical, Thai, by Kiran Rao, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, Airbus, at a special ceremony in Toulouse today.
The Thai A380’s are powered by the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines. The aircraft is configured with 507 seats in a three class configuration. All classes feature new cabin designs, with 12 private suites in First Class, 60 fully flat sleeper seats in Royal Silk Class and 435 seats in Economy. All seats are equipped with the latest on-demand in-flight entertainment systems, communication outlets and individual power supply.
Thai will inaugurate commercial service of its A380 on the Bangkok Hong Kong and Bangkok Singapore routes. Shorter flights will allow for quicker training of flight, cabin, and ground crews. As more aircraft are delivered, the airline will begin service to Frankfurt at the end of the year, followed by Tokyo and Paris in early 2013. It is surprising though, Thai has no immediate plans of operating its A380 to London Heathrow, the airport which receives the A380s of the maximum number of airlines.