Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) today welcomed the delivery flight TG8921 of THAI first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, royally bestowed “ONGKHARAK”, with aircraft registration No. HS-TQA. The flight departed on 17 July 2014 from Boeing’s Everett Delivery Center in Seattle, Washington, USA FOR a non-stop, 15-hour flight to Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand, landing at 1642 hours.
At the touchdown welcome event at Suvarnabhumi Airport, THAI’s 787-8 Dreamliner taxied to THAI maintenance hangar, through a “water spray arch” by the airport authority. Covering the touchdown fanfare were nearly 250 members of the media from print, online, radio, social media, bloggers, along with a welcoming party of over 300 persons from THAI management, staff and guests. A highlight of the day was the 30-metre long by 8-metre wide formation of the “787” identity by THAI staff in front of the parked Dreamliner aircraft.
On hand to welcome THAI’s first Dreamliner was Mrs. Petchpring Sarasin, Vice President of Corporate Image and Communications Department, who said, “It is an exciting time for THAI to bring a new aircraft type into the THAI fleet.” This first 787-8 aircraft will operate its first commercial flight on 25 July 2014 from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. With the delivery of the second 787-8 aircraft, THAI will operate to and from Bangkok to Perth, Australia and Bangkok to Haneda, Japan sometime in September. THAI expects delivery of its third 787-8 in October and operate Bangkok-Narita, Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok-Hanoi routes. The fourth 787-8 aircraft delivery is planned for December 2014 and will operate the Bangkok-Nagoya route. The remaining two 787-8 Dreamliner delivery is expected in the middle of 2015.
The special delivery flight was piloted by THAI Captain Pongtorn Thepkanjana, Director of Flight Test & Development Department, and Captain Kittivaj Mongkonpruthangkoon, of THAI’s Cockpit Crew, Flight Operations Department; along with co-pilot Piyawat Imnate and co-pilot Chawanut Pradidpatanachan, both from THAI’s Cockpit Crew, Flight Operations Department. Passengers on this historic flight included Flg.Off. Chalermpon Intarawong, Vice President of A/C Maintenance Center, BKK Base Department; Flt. Lt. Yuthasit Suwanloy, Vice President of Technical Support Department, Boeing pilots and THAI delivery team.
THAI’s B787-8 aircraft is equipped with the next-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-AE engines. The culmination of advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight structures contribute to 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as less “roar” around airport boundaries and airport communities.
THAI’s Dreamliner interior is based on the Contemporary Thai design concept, with 264 seats in a two-class cabin. Each of the 24 Royal Silk Class seats is fitted with a 60-inch pitch and 21-inch seat width, and can recline to a 78-inch-long bed in full-flat, 180-degree position. The seats are shell-typed seats with a partition screen between seats, and arranged in a 2-2-2 abreast configuration allowing for privacy and easy access to the aisles.
Economy Class cabin and seating design are based on vibrant and energetic concepts. The 240 Economy Class seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 abreast configuration, and are designed in vivid gold and purple. Each seat has a 32-inch seat pitch and an 18-inch width.
THAI is proud to be the first 787-8 airline to install the newest in-flight entertainment system of its kind, the Panasonic system eX3, for all passengers on board its Dreamliner. Royal Silk Class monitors are 16-inch while Economy Class monitors are 11-inch with screen-swipe technology, just like the swipe features on smartphone and tablet devices.
Between July 2014 and June 2015 THAI will receive six Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet.