THAI delays A380 London service
- Published: 8/07/2013 at 07:24 AM
- Online news:
Plans by Thai Airways International to begin flying the A380 superjumbo jet airliner to London in December have been set back by at least 11 months.
Thai Airways confirmed the delay in a low-key press release posted on its UK website.
An A380 jumbo arrives at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bloomberg photo)
"Thai Airways regrets to announce that due to important technical modifications, the A380 will not be able to commence its operation on the Heathrow-Bangkok route as planned from Dec 1, 2013," the statement said. "Tentative operational date has been set on Oct 30, 2014."
According to the airline, the blow to THAI operations is the fault of the manufacturer, Airbus. Because of assembly and construction problems with the aircraft, Airbus must modify the wing tips to prevent cracking.
The assembly line delay is because of what Airbus calls "wing rib feet modifications". The company hopes the design and assembly changes will prevent further problems with cracks in the wings.
THAI took delivery of its first A380 last September, and began using the aircraft immediately on flights to Singapore and Hong Kong.
THAI has already received four A380s from an order of six of the long-haul planes. The planes also serve Paris, Tokyo and Frankfurt.
The two outstanding deliveries are due to fly to London and Sydney.
Because of the delays in the delivery of the next A380, the airline has been forced to acquire several A330 jetliners to ensure services.
The overnight flight to London reportedly may switch to an A340-600.
The delay puts THAI at a disadvantage with competitors. For now, Thai Airways must continue to use its older and often criticised Boeing 747s on the London flights, while other airlines have upgraded aircraft and interiors to attract more flyers.
According to the same press release which announced the delay in jumbo service to London, "The introduction of the A380 will make flying between London and Bangkok an even more enjoyable and unforgettable experience and we can only apologise for the unforeseen delay."
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters