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Thai Airways Grows Fleet With Airbus A350-900, Boeing 787-9, and A321neo Leases

Thai Airways Grows Fleet With Airbus A350-900, Boeing 787-9, and A321neo Leases

BY HADI AHMAD Published on February 22, 2024 0 COMMENTS

Thai Airways has made multiple major announcements at the 2024 Singapore Airshow, including a large Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner order on February 20. Thailand's flag carrier is committed to growing and modernizing its fleet. As such, the airline just recently signed a lease agreement with AerCap for more fuel-efficient aircraft on February 21.

 

Photo: Winston Shek | AeroXplorer

 

Fleet Modernization

 

AerCap is an American-Irish aircraft leasing company based in Dublin, Ireland. It's one of the largest leasing companies in the world, even having its own stock ticker symbol, "AER." At this year's Singapore Airshow, AerCap and Thai Airways signed a lease agreement to procure three aircraft types on dry lease.

 



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"Dry lease" is the longer of the two types of aircraft leases. Under such a lease agreement, an airline (the lessee) will procure an aircraft from the lessor for an extended time. Because of the longer periods seen in dry leases, the lessors do not provide crew or maintenance to the airline. Under dry leases, these facilities are the responsibility of the airlines.

 

Thai Airways has agreed to acquire seven widebody and ten narrowbody aircraft from AerCap. These consist of four Airbus A350-900s, three Boeing 787-9s, and ten Airbus A321neos. According to Thai Airways, the decision was made to acquire these planes in 2023 as part of its fleet modernization strategy.

 

Photo: Lucas Wu | AeroXplorer

 

Two leased A350s have already been delivered to Thai Airways, joining the 15 other A350-900s the carrier had acquired earlier. Two more A350-900s, HS-THS and HS-THX, are expected to join the fleet by the second quarter of 2024. All four leased A350s previously flew for either Hong Kong Airlines or Azul.

 



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The three 787-9s will join the fleet from the second quarter of 2024 through the fourth quarter of 2025. According to Planespotters.net, the first leased 787-9 is a 5.5-year-old example, line number 746, that originally flew with Hainan Airlines and later Bamboo Airways.

 

The Airbus A321neo will be a brand-new aircraft type to the Thai Airways fleet. The ten planes will enter service from the third quarter of 2025 through the second quarter of 2026. Thai Airways' narrowbody fleet currently consists of 20 Airbus A320s.

 

Photo: Tony Bordelais | AeroXplorer

 

Storied Relationship

 

Peter Anderson, AerCap's Chief Commercial Officer, said about the agreement:

 

"AerCap is very pleased to announce this significant transaction with Thai Airways and to support them with both their widebody and narrowbody fleet modernization plan as they emerge from a very challenging period [the pandemic]."

 

Anderson mentioned that AerCap's business relationship with Thai Airways began in the mid-1990s when the carrier leased Boeing 737-400s and Airbus A330-300s from the lessor.

 

Photo: Zak Ismail | AeroXplorer

 

Chai Eamsiri, CEO of Thai Airways, added about the agreement:

 

"This marks a significant milestone as we celebrate the continuing partnership with AerCap. it's a testament to the trust and commitment we share, as we emerge from the recent challenging period. The addition of these new generation aircraft enhances our ability to swiftly adapt to the evolving market demands, and not only enhances our operational capacity but also offers exceptional levels of comfort to our passengers."

 

This new lease agreement and Thai's earlier 787 order provide an optimistic outlook on the carrier's future. Thai Airways hopes to bounce back with an even stronger route network and contribute to Bangkok becoming a major player in global connectivity.

 



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Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

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