Thai Airways International is set to order 45 Boeing aircraft for long-term fleet renewal, with the deal expected to be firmed up in the coming days at the Singapore air show. 

The Bangkok-based carrier on 14 February said it had entered into an agreement with Boeing and GE Aerospace for the acquisition of medium- to long-haul aircraft. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Bangkok-based carrier currently operates Trent 1000-powered fleet of 787s

The deal comprises 45 firm orders with “options for additional aircraft”; deliveries will take place over the 2027-2033 period. 

Thai did not state which aircraft type it was acquiring, except to say that further details will be disclosed at the week-long Singapore air show, which runs from 20 February. GE engines power most of Boeing’s widebody aircraft, including the 777X and 787, where they are an option alongside the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000. 

Furthermore, Boeing’s order and deliveries site showed an undisclosed customer ordering 45 787-9s in December, with the engine type unspecified. 

Cirium fleets data shows the carrier operating nine 787s – a mixture of -8s and -9s – all powered by Trent 1000s.

The order follows a request for proposal issued in 2023 for new aircraft to “consistently generate revenue, aligning with its financial projections and targets”. 

“The long-term aircraft acquisition plan is crucial for replacing gradually expiring leased and aging aircraft. It is quintessential for sustaining growth and retaining market share,” adds the Star Alliance carrier. 

It discloses that its market share at its Bangkok hub has dwindled, amid the pandemic and a subsequent restructuring, which saw much of its fleet cut down. 

The airline adds that it is rebuilding its fleet and hopes to have 90 aircraft in operation by 2025, up from the current 79. It has secured leases for additional Airbus A350s and is set to introduce A321neos by end-2025, which will replace its current A320s. 

Thai also stresses that its current financial health and liquidity “are adequate to support the procurement within the aforementioned timeframe,” adding that the order is not likely to affect its ability to repay debts to its creditors under its business rehabilitation scheme. 

“Thai has carefully evaluated enhancing customer experiences and satisfaction through factors such as comfort, seat allocation, and cabin facilities, ensuring Thai’s strategic decisions are both financially sound and operationally effective,” it adds.

This story has been edited to incorporate additional information in the sixth paragraph.