Since its founding in 1959, Thai Airways International has ordered more than 75 Boeing aircraft (or predecessors), including the DC-10, MD-11, 737, 747, 777 and 787. THAI was one of the launch customers of the Triple-Seven, becoming the first airline to operate the type in Southeast Asia. THAI received its 1st 787 in 2014 and currently operates 8 Dreamliners—6 787-8 and 2 of the stretched 787-9.
With more than 1,200 orders from 70 different customers, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a bestseller. The 787 has become the manufacturer’s best-selling 2-aisle widebody aircraft. The efficient and long-legged Dreamliner has allowed some 170 new routes to be opened since it was introduced in 2011.
Flight-Report.com had the opportunity to take part in the delivery of THAI’s 2nd 787-9, and final Dreamliner to be delivered. This new aircraft sports a new Royal Silk (Business class) cabin.
Paine Field Everett (PAE) – Bangkok (BKK) | B787-9 | Royal Silk
Boeing 787s are delivered either from the gigantic Everett, WA plant (-8 and -9models) or the relatively new Charleston, SC plant (variant -9 and -10). In this case, the aircraft was manufactured in Everett.
At the Everett plant, the aircraft meets its owners at the Delivery Center. A team of representatives from the customer airline is present to perform test flights and some last minute technical checks prior to accepting delivery. Funds are transferred between the customer and Boeing at the Delivery Center, where the customers receive a symbolic key to the airplane.
Screens in the Delivery Center display the delivery of the day.
The brand new aircraft awaits its new owners at the parking stand
Center stage for the ribbon cutting ceremony are the THAI Airways CEO, Boeing representatives, as well as a representative from Aer Cap, the aircraft leasing company.
Let’s have a look at this new bird !
THAI has generally had a preference for Rolls-Royce engine, so logically the Trent 1000 was selectd for the Dreamliner fleet.
The -9 variant is 6 meters longer than the smaller -8.
The famous THAI Royal Orchid ‘jumpee’ Logo adorns the tail of the new Dreamliner.
This second THAI Boeing 787-9, and last Dreamliner delivery for the airline is registered HS-TWB.
Everything is squeaky clean on delivery day, even the tires.
Following the delivery ceremony, a luncheon is held in the Delivery Center before the new aircraft takes off for its new home.
The Buffet is Asian inspired, with some Thai curries and noodles, while elements of the THAI Airways corporate colors are used in the dining room décor.
THAI, like many other airlines, name each of their aircraft. This new Dreamliner is baptized “Phrom Buri”, a district in Singburi Province, central Thailand.
The distinct shape of the Dreamliner’s flight deck windows
Thai Airways introduced a new Business class on its two Boeing 787-9s.
The six 787-8 aircraft are currently equipped with Rockwell Collins Interior Systems' (formerly B/E Aerospace) Parallel Diamond seats while its Airbus A350, A380 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are equipped with Stelia Aerospace's Solstys seats.
The new seat type featured on the THAI 787-9 is the popular Cirrus seat, by French manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace.
This popular seat, with its 1-2-1 configuration giving direct-aisle access to all passengers, can be seen on some of the world’s most highly rated airlines.
In Economy class, there are 268 seats in the standard 3-3-3 configuration.
The aft Economy cabin.
The in-flight entertainment system is the Panasonic EX3
Economy class features 11” IFE screens which display seat numbers.
The THAI 787-9 has two crew rest areas. Pictured here is the aft crew rest featuring 7 bunks for cabin crew.
Back in Business class, let’s have a look at our seat for this long delivery flight to Bangkok.
As this is a delivery flight, the cabin service items, such as pillows, blankets and amenity kits, are not what you’d see on a normal Thai Airways commercial flight.
One of the amenity kits is provided by AerCap, while a second kit is offered by Boeing.
Let’s have a look at the seat’s features.
An individual reading light is found off to the side. Nearby is the IFE remote control, the seat controls, a USB port, and a plug for the noise-cancelling headphones.
The 16” IFE screens in Business class are in 16/9 format
The seats feature some storage areas as well as a universal power port.
The ottoman is a decent size and not as constricting as other Business class seat models
The armrests on the aisle side can be raised and lowered and include another small storage space.
The ultra-modern Dreamliner cockpit
787-9 and -10 variants feature 17 and 18 degree flap settings not found on the -8.
The futuristic head-up display
Ready for departure…
On a super long flight to this bird’s new home base in Bangkok
15 hours and 34 minutes of flying time to be exact!
Push-back and taxi
The Delivery Center is a mini-Terminal with two jet-bridges
The new Thai Airways safety video plays as the aircraft taxis
Start-up of the engines is rather quiet.
And we’re off
The aircraft registration number is also found on the right wing
Nice scenery flying over British Columbia at sunset
Though it gets progressively more cloudy
The contents of the two amenity kits is pretty basic, but they’re neat collector’s items.
Again, as this is not a commercial flight, the catering is provided by Boeing and not the normal Thai Airways fare.
Chips and peanuts to start.
Here’s what the Boeing-provided meal tray looks like
Starter of smoked salmon and prawns
Chicken wings and drumsticks were available
Asian cabbage salad
Sliced pork and rice for the main dish
For dessert, blueberry cheesecake and vanilla ice cream
The last rays of sunlight…
…with that warm orange glow
As we make our way over the Pacific ocean and into night…
It’s time to put this Business class seat in full flat mode
The bed’s made up!
Throughout the long flight, snacks are available in the aircraft’s galleys
Such as a selection of fruit
Sandwiches and cheese
And a choice of soft drinks, juices, and alcoholic beverages
Time for a midnight snack
There is plenty of time to sleep on a long Transpacific flight.
Some of the advantages of flying on the Dreamliner such as higher levels of humidity and better cabin pressurization really make a difference on long-hauls. The higher humidity keeps you from getting that dried-out dehydrated feeling you can often get on other aircraft and the higher cabin pressure simulates a lower altitude than other aircraft, which has been shown to help against symptoms of jetlag.
The modern IFE system is available in multiple languages.
One can browse the IFE options using the touchscreen smartphone-like remote control or directly on the touchscreen monitor.
Here are the main categories
A broad choice of movies, TV series, music, and games are available to keep one entertained
There is also a dedicated Thai section
Just two hours left in the flight.
A breakfast is served just prior to arrival, with an Asian and Western option. The Asian option is congee, while the Western option is an omelet with sausage.
The cabin lights are turned on for arrival
The bright white lighting is a bit aggressive on the eyes
The mood lighting is much more pleasant
The crew announce our imminent arrival
Tailwind into Suvarnabhumi
In the end, the flight time was just shy of 16 hours, at 15:54.
As we taxi the Bangkok humidity fogs up the windows making planespotting a bit difficult.
Thai’s latest and last Dreamliner is now home.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION The Thai Airways International Boeing 787-9 is configured to accommodate 30 passengers in Royal Silk class (Business Class) and 268 in Economy Class.
WiFi is available on board thanks to a KU Band antenna. Passengers in Royal Silk class receive a voucher for 5mb of complimentary WiFi. The THAI Boeing 787-9 currently operates between Bangkok and Singapore (flights TG403 and TG404) and between Bangkok and Auckland (flights TG491 and TG492).
Trip taken by Flavien for Flight-Report.com with the cooperation of Thai Airways International and Boeing.
With the Boeing 787-9, THAI continues to renew its fleet, which now has an average age of 9.3 years. The on-board product is competitive and modern. Both the Business and Economy class cabins are attractive and true to the Thai Airways identity with color choices and style.
- Elegant and soothing cabin atmosphere thanks to the colors of the seats and decorative elements - Roomy seats that go full-flat with direct aisle-access - Advantages of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Higher humidity, bigger windows, mood lighting, higher cabin pressure, better air quality - WiFi on board - Large screens in 16/9 format in both cabins, with a responsive and easy to use entertainment system with good content.
- The 3-3-3 configuration in Economy isn’t spacious, but has become the standard on 787s. - Missed opportunity to make better use of common areas - Some rows in both Business and Economy are missing windows
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