Bangkok Airways has begun returning its Boeing 717s to lessors as it introduces Airbus

Iain Mackenzie photographed Bangkok Airways 717-200 “HS-PGP” at Glasgow recently, which he understands was being ferried to Miami for overhaul and repaint ahead of delivery to a new operator. The aircraft, which transited through Glasgow between 9 and 11 December, is believed to be one of two which will be delivered to Spanair/AerBal early in 2008.

Earlier this year, Bangkok Airways agreed to lease seven A319s from International Lease Finance to launch new services and to replace its four 717s. According to Flight’s ACAS database Boeing Capital owns two of Bangkok Airways’ 717s and Pembroke Group owns the other two.
The airline received its first A319 in mid-2007 and is due to take four next year and two in 2009. It has now returned one 717 and is due to return another in April 2008 with the rest are likely to be follow as soon as the leases expire, said the airline’s vice president of marketing Peter Weisner in February when the ILFC A319 lease was announced.

“The 717 is a good aircraft and has good passenger acceptance but the A319 allows us to fly longer,” said Weisner. He added that the 717 has about 4h range whereas the A319 has up to 6h.

 © Iain Mackenzie