Star Alliance carrier Thai Airways today signed a memorandum of understanding at the show for seven Airbus A330-300s to replace its Airbus A300-600s.

The aircraft will join 20 of the type already operated by Thai. Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy valued the deal at $1.5 billion at catalogue prices and expects to sign a formal purchase agreement by the summer. Deliveries begin in the last quarter of next year and will run to the second quarter of 2013.

"As our objective is to be a first choice airline, we would like to enhance our customer's experience with new aircraft and the best service available on board," says Thai managing director of technical department Montree Jumreing. "We will use these A330-300s to replace our A300-600s."

The airline earlier this year outlined a fleet renewal plan under which it is phasing out 25 aircraft - including 10 A300-600s, six Boeing 747-400s and four A340-500s - and bringing in 24 new aircraft. Delivery of six A380s and three A330-300s had already been approved by the Thai government.

Jumreing says the carrier expects to deploy its seven new A330-300s on routes to South-East Asia, the Middle East and western Africa.

Source: Flight Daily News