Thai Airways, the flag carrier of Thailand, seems to make significant changes in its aircraft fleet. While having put its two Airbus A380 jets on sale, the struggling airline also awaits the delivery of its first Boeing 777-300ER.
On December 11, 2020, Thai Airways published an official advertisement for two Airbus A380-800s on the Thai Aircraft Trading website. The first wide-body, the 7,5-year-old aircraft registered as HS-TUE was delivered to the airline in October 2013. The air carrier ferried it for storage at Rayong U-Taphao International Airport (UTP) in April 2020. Another A380-800 jet of the same age, registered as HS-TUF, was delivered to the air carrier in November 2013. It is also waiting for its new owner at the same UTP airport, showed PlaneSpotters.com data.
According to Thai Airways advertisement, both jets have flown for up to 30,000 hours each. The air carrier noticed that the recent listing “is a part of a market survey to find potential buyers for the items listed in accordance with Thai’s business plan under the reorganization proceeding”, read in the airline’s advertisement.
“The actual sale will take place under the business reorganization plan and would require approvals of relevant stakeholders and the Bankruptcy Court”, added Thai Airways.
The sale of two Airbus A380 wide-bodies would not become the only change in Thai Airways fleet. Presumably, one Boeing 777-300ER aircraft tail is being painted in Thai Airways livery in Boeing assembly line based in Everett, Washington, suggests a picture that appeared on social media on December 8, 2020. This allows assuming that the airline is waiting to take delivery of the brand-new wide-body in the near future.
As a registration number on the spotted aircraft starts with letters HS (HS-TTA) with Boeing line number 1683, it reinforces suspicions that the plane would be added to the Thai Airways fleet. In addition, according to the latest update of BOE Family Flights, a website of data analytics of the Boeing Family test and delivery flight activities, on December 7, 2020, the HS-TTA was listed as one of the Thai Airways jets, which was likely waiting for its livery painting job to be finished before starting the testing procedures of the aircraft.
Thai Airways 777 line 1683 HS-TTA is being painted in the Everett 45-04 pic.twitter.com/M7mfv7D8QL— Paine Airport (@mattcawby) December 8, 2020
Thai Airways committed to lease three Boeing 777-300ER planes back in 2018. However, some doubts could arise regarding the airline’s capability to take deliveries of brand new planes while being on the verge of bankruptcy. On September 14, 2020, Thai Airways entered bankruptcy reorganization and received a green light from the Central Bankruptcy Court to proceed with its recovery plans.
In November 2020, the airline started a wide sale of its fleet. Thai Airways put all of its ten Boeing 747-400 jumbos, six Boeing 777-200s, and six Boeing 777-300s up for sale to raise the needed cash. All of these aircraft were retired in March 2020, when the airline was unable to operate jets due to the closure of Thailand borders. The air carrier also aimed to find new owners for its two Boeing 737-400s, six Airbus A340-600s and three A340-500s wide-bodies as well as one Airbus A300-600 jet.