*A330-300 for Thai Airways International
*Source: DTN News / EADS ~ Airbus (NSI News Source Info) BLAGNAC, France - July 31, 2009: Airbus yesterday July 30, delivered the 1000th aircraft from the A330/A340 Family. The aircraft, an A330-300, was handed over to Thai Airways International (THAI) at a special ceremony in Toulouse. In attendance was a delegation from Thailand led by Air Chief Marshal Narongsak Sangapong, Acting President of THAI, plus representatives from the engine manufacturers and major equipment suppliers, as well as some 100 Airbus staff currently working on the programme.Airbus A300-600R will start to retire in 2008-2010, Thai will acquire eight A330-300 as replacement aircraft for delivery starting in 2009. Because of the delayed Boeing 787-9 program, Thai may not be able to acquire the Boeing 787-9 fleet before 2012; hence, a plan to lease more A330-300 or Boeing 777s is being considered.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tom Williams, Airbus Executive Vice President Programmes, said: “When the A330/A340 Family first entered service in 1993 it set a new standard in the mid-size widebody market. Today, the product line remains the benchmark for in-service aircraft in this category, offering airlines a proven range of models optimised for medium, long and very long haul operations."
“We are extremely proud that the 1000th aircraft from this product is being delivered in the colours of THAI, which is one of Airbus' longest standing customers and currently operates a fleet including both the A330 and the A340."
Air Chief Marshal Narongsak Sangapong, said: “We are pleased to be taking delivery of the 1000th aircraft from this modern and efficient Airbus product line, which forms a major element of our fleet today. With these aircraft we are able to offer our passengers the highest levels of comfort, while also benefiting from the operational flexibility to operate the aircraft both on long range and regional services.”
With today’s delivery, THAI increases its in-service A330/A340 fleet to a total of 25 aircraft, comprising 15 A330-300s, four A340-500s and six A340-600s. The airline also operates a fleet of 17 A300-600Rs on its regional network.
Since the first aircraft from the A330/A340 Family was delivered in 1993, the product line has become the most successful mid-size widebody programme ever, with 1,406 firm orders from 103 customers worldwide. Today, aircraft from the family are flying with 100 operators worldwide and the world fleet has accumulated more than 27 million flight hours in over 5 million revenue flights.
The A330/A340 Family comprises the twin engine A330 for medium and long range operations and the four engine A340 for very long haul routes. A new freighter version of the A330 is currently under development and will enter service in 2010.