Thai Airways International and aircraft manufacturer Airbus are to jointly look at the possibility of developing a new maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at U-Tapao International Airport in Thailand, which would serve airlines from across the region.
The Thai national flag carrier recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus to study the development of such an aircraft maintenance centre for the Asia Pacific region. The signing between Thai Airways International or THAI’s acting president Usanee Sangsingkeo and president, Airbus Commercial Aircraft Fabrice Bregier at the THAI Head Office in Bangkok was presided over by deputy prime minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
U-Tapao International Airport is situated just over two hours from Bangkok by road, 45 minutes from Pattaya and just under an hour from hotels in Rayong.
“THAI has reached initial agreement with Airbus to exchange necessary information and jointly evaluate the potential development of a TG MRO Complex Development at U-Tapao International Airport, which is part of the Eastern Economic Corridor development plan 2017-2021. The new aircraft maintenance centre will serve airlines across the region and worldwide as well as create sustainable revenue for THAI and Thailand”, said a Thai Airways official.
The MRO facility is envisioned upon completion to be one of the most modern facilities for aircraft maintenance in the Asia Pacific region, with the capability of providing light and heavy maintenance for multiple aircraft types. It will utilize the latest technology to assess and conduct aircraft maintenance with high performance evaluation technologies.
Environment-friendly, it will also have an intelligent maintenance centre that can reduce investment costs and an aircraft maintenance-training centre to produce aviation technicians and engineers based on international standards.
“This exciting new project will help to meet strong demand for maintenance services in the fast growing Asia Pacific region”, said Airbus’ Bregier. “With the fleet in the region set to almost triple to over 15,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, this project represents a sound opportunity for Thailand to develop its footprint in the aerospace sector.”
THAI is a key customer for Airbus, with almost half of its fleet of over 90 aircraft being various Airbus models. These 44 Airbus include the new A380-800 and Airbus A350-900 models.
The Thai airline took delivery of its first A350-900XWB (Xtra-Wide Body) in August of 2016, the first of 12 A350 XWBs it has on order. The aircraft has been operating on the Bangkok-Singapore, Bangkok-Rome and Bangkok-Milan routes.
The latest generation airliner and newest member of Airbus’ widebody product family, the aircraft manufacturer says its A350 XWB brings new levels of efficiency and comfort in the long range market and that the A350 XWB family is particularly well suited to the needs of Asia-Pacific airlines.
In what THAI promises is a more spacious and more comfortable flight experience, passengers aboard the A350-900XWB enjoy bigger overhead stowage compartments, larger panoramic windows, superior headroom and “generously proportioned” seats, along with a new contemporary orchid décor embodying elegance with distinctive touches of Thai design that are both sophisticated & relaxing.
THAI is a founding member of the Star Alliance network, which currently operates over 18,500 flights daily in 192 countries. The airline’s global route network comprises more than 60 destinations in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, with Tehran and Moscow being the newest points to be added.
Through THAI’s website thaiairways.com, users can book flights online throughout this network, such as flights from Bangkok to London, flights from Bangkok to Frankfurt, flights from Bangkok to Copenhagen and direct flights from Thailand to Australia. They can search for great deals on flights to Thailand, book domestic flights within Thailand operated by THAI and its subsidiary THAI Smile, join up free to the airline’s customer loyalty program Royal Orchid Plus and check out the holiday packages and product of Royal Orchid Holidays.