Thai Airways is reportedly closing in on a deal with Boeing to acquire up to 80 787 Dreamliners, per Reuters.
A Big Order Coming Soon?
According to sources from Reuters, the airline is in advanced talks with Boeing over a critical fleet renewal process that’s been a long time in the making.
Thai Airways has been seeking requests for proposals from leading aircraft manufacturers of Airbus and Boeing to continue powering its future fleet.
As part of these proposals, the view was that 80 widebodies would be required to aid growing demand and replace some of the more inefficient recently removed types.
The Boeing 787 is now emerging as the leading candidate to fulfil the requirements of Thai Airways as it edges Airbus’ offerings.
A Recent Thai Airways Fleet Transformation
Over recent years, especially following the global pandemic, the Thai Airways fleet has changed drastically, with a significant amount of capacity removed.
Notably, over recent times, the airline has axed operations with the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747; before that, the company also flew the Airbus A340.
While these types are known as wildly inefficient, especially nowadays for a company like Thai Airways, they represent a significant amount of capacity available across the network.
These removals have left Thai Airways with a vast array of fleet types. A new aircraft order of 80 units would likely be required to bring better efficiency and commonality to the day-to-day operations.
Analysing Thai Airways Current Fleet
Thai Airways currently operates with a fleet of 56 aircraft. However, its operation is hardly condensed to a handful of types. Instead, the airline flies several kinds.
For its narrowbody operations, the airline has 8 A320-200s to its name. These aircraft average an age of 10 years, which makes them among some of the youngest within the fleet.
The carrier flies the 777 extensively with three separate variants to their name, two of which remain operational. A total of 5 777-200ERs remain in service, with these aircraft averaging 16.8 years.
Meanwhile, the 777-300ER features prominently, with 17 units in service. Per data, this ties the A350-900 for the type with the most units to its name. These 777-300ERs average an age of 8.7 years.
Operations with the A350-900 resulted in 16 currently in-service aircraft, with data highlighting one unit remaining parked. These A350-900s, when measured by average age, are the youngest across the fleet, sitting at 5.8 years.
Interestingly, despite an order seemingly close for the 787 series, the airline currently only flies a handful of Dreamliners. A total of 5 787-8s remain in service, with just two 787-9s.
A New Deal Is Very Important For Thai Airways
Ultimately, the airline has had its ups and downs across the industry in recent times. However, its fleet renewal has remained a persistent focus.
Acquiring up to 80 Boeing 787 Dreamliners is primarily viewed as a critical decision. Once delivered, the hope is that it will streamline and bring considerable fleet consistency.