Airbus announces retrofits with Swiss, THAI and China Airlines, includes A350s

China Airlines Airbus A350-900
Markus Mainka /

Airbus has announced that it has secured three new retrofit agreements against the backdrop of the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2024 in Hamburg, Germany.  

The company has been incredibly busy at this year’s event, with new deals signed with Swiss, Thai Airways and China Airlines.  

Aircraft Interiors Expo 2024 kicked off on May 28, 2024, and runs through until the end of May 30, 2024. 


SWISS HB-IJO Airbus A320
Kambui / Creative Commons

Airbus will retrofit the Swiss in-service fleet of A320 family aircraft with Airspace L-Bins giving its customers access to 60% more capacity when storing their hand luggage.  

“Manufactured by EFW, L-Bins are the simplest and most cost-effective solution for A320 Family operators to increase the overhead cabin bag space,” Airbus said in a statement. 

The retrofit will include three Swiss A320s and five A321s.  

Airbus signed previous agreements with Lufthansa and Iberia for L-Bins installations with work set to start in 2025. 

Airbus also confirmed that during Aircraft Interiors Expo 2024 two undisclosed customers selected Airspace L-Bins upgrades.  

Thai Airways 

Thai Smile Airbus A320
Anna Zvereva / Creative Commons

Airbus’ new deal with Thai Airways will see 20 former Thai Smile Airways fitted with new business class seats.  

The 20 Thai Smile A320ceo aircraft became part of Thai Airways when the ex-subsidiary was integrated into the parent company in December 2023.  

The A320s will be fitted with reclining business class seats which marks Airbus’ first-ever cabin retrofit for a single-aisle fleet in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Airbus Services will oversee the installation of 12 business class seats on each A320ceo, thus upgrading the Thai Smile planes.  

Upon completion, the A320s will transition to a two-class configuration, comprising 12 business class and 144 economy class seats. 

The A320s were previously an all-economy configuration, carrying between 168 and 174 passengers. 

The retrofit work is scheduled to begin later this year.  

China Airlines 

Airbus and the Taiwanese carrier China Airlines have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) for 15 A350-900s to be retrofitted with a new layout and amenities.  

Airbus will oversee the installation of China Airlines’ latest premium business class, premium economy class and economy class seats on the aircraft. 

As well as the seat upgrades the cabins will be installed with the latest in-flight entertainment, full connectivity throughout and an upgraded cabin. 

“We are honored to be selected by China Airlines to upgrade its A350 fleet. The airline’s existing layout had already been one of the most luxurious in the industry and we are excited to support China Airlines to elevate this to yet another level,” said Cristina Aguilar, Senior Vice President of Airbus Customer Services.  

As of April 2024, China Airlines operates 15 A350-900s, 18 A330-300s and 12 A321neos. 

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