New Levels of Luxury Arrive at Thai Airways

Thai Airways, one of Asia’s leading airlines will up the ante on business and first class travel with the introduction of the Airbus A380 to its fleet.

Thai Airways has been reinventing itself over the past five years and part of that new positioning is its purchase of the A380 superjumbo, the first of which goes into service this month on the Hong Kong-Bangkok route.

The airline has ordered six of the superjumbos, with the first batch will be delivered to the Thai flag carrier at the end of this year and into 2013, to be used regionally, flying to Hong Kong and Singapore, until the full fleet is operational. Then the massive aircraft, each of which caters to 507 passengers, will be used on double-daily services between Bangkok and London, and Bangkok and Frankfurt. Tokyo and Paris will be added in the new year.

For travelers at the pointy end of the plane, the addition of the A380 heralds in a new benchmark in refinement for Thai Airways, with chic new offerings in both the Royal First Class and popular Royal Silk Class business cabins.

First class has a new home at the front of the top deck and now consists of 12 contoured mini-suite flatbeds in a 1-2-1 configuration, giving all guests direct aisle access. After extensive market research, that included royal opinions, Thai Airways decided not to offer the enclosed suites seen on Singapore Airlines or Emirates. Instead, each spacious semi-enclosed first class suite features an ample 23.5-inch width, plenty of work and dining space, a 23-inch personal monitor with noise reduction headphones, and built-in lumbar support and massage feature. The first class cabin is tastefully refined and elegant and dressed in cream tones with royal purple carpeting.

Thai Airways, one of Asia's leading airlines will up the ante on business and first class travel with the introduction of the Airbus A380 to its fleet.

A few additional first class (above) perks include an extravagantly-large (by aircraft standards) and beautifully-appointed bathroom that includes its own dressing room; a dedicated wet bar at the cabin’s rear; and two private lounge spaces in which passengers can enjoy their drinks, have a meeting or stretch their legs.

Also on the top deck is the airline’s all-new Royal Silk business class cabin, which boasts 60 EADS Sogerma-designed seats in the staggered configuration that’s proven popular with business travelers. Each seat features a 20-inch width and a 74-inch pitch.

With a new cocoon design and the almost overlapping staggered configuration, the Royal Silk cabin may look a little busy compared to first, but it’s more about practicality and comfort than aesthetics; each seat offers direct aisle access, which is so important on long-haul flights, and features a 15-inch personal screen and noise reduction headphones, despite the A380’s cabin being one of the quietest in the skies. Each Royal Silk class seat also converts into a 180-degree lie-flat bed with the push of a button and advanced lighting helps combat the effects of flying through time zones.

Thai Airways, one of Asia's leading airlines will up the ante on business and first class travel with the introduction of the Airbus A380 to its fleet.

Business class (above) also benefits from its own self-service stand up cocktail bar, as well as custom-made fabrics and new-look bathrooms exclusive to Thai Airways. Travelers will also enjoy SMS, Wi-Fi, and USB port connectivity meaning they can still be connected to the world beyond, as well as gain access to the airline’s enhanced inflight entertainment system, with boasts 500 albums of music, 100 movie titles, and 30 games.

The 435 economy class seats take up the whole lower deck in four spaces and feature new Recaro-designed seating in a 3-4-3 configuration with a 32-inch pitch.

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About Author

Nick Walton

Nick Walton

Nick Walton is a leading travel and lifestyle journalist, magazine editor, publisher, photographer, travel commentator, and media trainer, based in Hong Kong. He is also managing editor of Artemis Communications, the titles of which include Ultimate Encounters, Alpha Men Asia, and The Art of Business Travel.

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