Thai Airways looks set to the be second Airbus A350 operator to Australia with flights to Melbourne scheduled to feature the next generation widebody from July.
A report from the Airline Route website said the Star Alliance member opened reservations for its Bangkok-Melbourne service with the A350 over the weekend.
Currently, Thai flies twice daily between Melbourne and Bangkok with Boeing 777 aircraft – an afternoon and overnight flight from Melbourne and a morning and overnight offering from the Thai capital.
From July 1, the overnight service from Bangkok (TG465) and afternoon departure from Melbourne (TG466) will switch to the A350-900.
The transition to the A350-900 for the the morning flight from Bangkok (TG461) and red-eye flight from Melbourne (TG462) was scheduled to take place on August 1.
Indeed, a dummy booking on the Thai Airways website confirmed the aircraft equipment changes.
However, a Thai Airways representative in Australia cautioned that the schedule was still subject to change.
“The aircraft type has been loaded as per the planning schedule but it is not confirmed to operate as yet,” the airline said in an email on Monday.
Thai has 12 A350-900s on order, comprising four aircraft on direct order and eight to arrive via lease arrangements.
However, Flightglobal reported in January Thai planned to postpone some 14 widebody aircraft deliveries that had been scheduled for 2016-2018.
Airbus said in June 2015 Thai’s first A350 was expected to start final assembly in October 2015, with first delivery scheduled for mid-2016.
Apart from Melbourne, Thai also serves Sydney (747), Brisbane (787) and Perth (787) in Australia, as well as Auckland (777) in New Zealand.
Qatar Airways was the first to announce A350 services to Australia when the oneworld alliance member confirmed it would use the aircraft when it begins flights to Adelaide from May.