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THAI's first A380 arrives this month


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#1 fountainhall

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

THAI's first new A380 jumbo will arrive on September 27 and initially be deployed on the Hong Kong and Singapore routes. When the second A380 joins at the end of the year, both will be switched to the Frankfurt route, with Paris and London to start up in January/February.

The seating configuration is 12 first class, 60 business class and 435 in economy. Emirates is almost the same with 14 first class, 76 business and between 399 and 427 in economy depending on the aircraft. But TG scraps the stand-up bar for business class :wacko: and packs 66 of its economy seats upstairs at the back. That seems to imply (but it's just my guess) that TG's economy seats may have slightly more room. Yet both carriers' economy seats have 18" width and 32" pitch. So what Thai are doing with the extra space, I have no idea. Also, the new 15" vdo monitors are not nearly as large as Emirates 20" screens.

http://www.seatplans...eatplans/A380-4

#2 Michael

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:07 AM

Nice. Thanks for the heads up with this. I don't know why any airline would drop the stand up bar. That is the best thing about these planes!

#3 Bob

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:00 AM

The worst thing about them, in my view, is you get to show up at immigration with a horde of people. I understand the supposed cost savings - carrying more bodies for less fuel per person - but I wonder if the immigration hassle and the cost to fix up the terminals to service the planes is really worth it.

#4 fountainhall

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:34 AM

Re Michael's point, it's less a case of doing away with a stand-up bar than just deciding not to put one in in the first place. Each airline decides its own layout. For whatever reason, TG has decided not to have a business class bar. Why? I have no idea. Clearly it is not to get more seats in, because Emirates has virtually the same number. Like Michael, I think it's a big mistake. The opportunity to lounge at a bar and perhaps chat with other passengers rather than be stuck with the one sitting next to you is quite a bonus.

Re Bob's point, the number of bodies is less than two 777s departing or arriving within a couple of minutes of each other. And there are several times during each day when BKK when at least eight wide-bodies arrive in a 30-minute period. I guess once BKK begins to serve more A380s and two of these arrive within a couple of minutes, that's when the problems could really start again at Immigration! However, with more automatic gates for Thai travellers, hopefully this should ease the burden.

#5 z909

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:33 PM

Perhaps their analysis shows it's better to give the economy passengers a couple more inches and use that attractive offering to fill a higher proportion of the seats. Anyhow, it's pleasing to note there may be more capacity going in on the LHR to BKK route next year.

So far I've been avoiding these planes. However when I do try one, the tactics will be to get a seat towards the front of the seating class and try to pass as many other passengers as possible on the walk to immigration. That can make a big difference in a large airport.

#6 fountainhall

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 10:55 PM

Sorry z909, TG will not be giving economy passengers any extra leg room. Most of their existing long-haul aircraft have between 32" and 34", with a generous 36" on the A340-500s. On the A380 it'll be the minimum 32"!

#7 ceejay

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 04:43 AM

I suspect it will be a while before I fly on one of these. I've always had reservations about flying in an economy cabin with as many people in it as the A380 will carry. I even found that the journey was considerably improved when EVA switched from the 747 to the 777ER. So, the only two ways for Thai to get my business would have been to use some of the space to enhance economy seating, or to make the price attractive. Since EVA economy seats have a 33" pitch, compared to 32" here (and a slightly wider seat too) option 1 is off the table and I rather doubt Thai will be going in for price competition - they have regularly been up to £150 higher than EVA even when they were flying ageing 747's and A340-500's against EVA's new 777's.
If that sounds as if I am plugging EVA then yes, I am. In my opinion they offer the best service for direct flights London to Bangkok and usually offer the lowest prices into the bargain.

#8 z909

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Posted 03 September 2012 - 05:30 AM

If that sounds as if I am plugging EVA then yes, I am. In my opinion they offer the best service for direct flights London to Bangkok and usually offer the lowest prices into the bargain.

Glad to hear it. So far I've always flown Eva on that route and have been very pleased with the service.

#9 lexusgs

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:11 PM

I travel on Emirates to HKG probably once per month. Always with hand luggage only. As for the layout of the 380, Thai are just not in the same league as Emirates with regard to being commercially aware. Try to save costs here and there which ends up with a customer offering less attractive than the competition. That goes for the bar in biz class along with inferior IFE. As for the baggage delivery on a A380 here's an interesting rant. I'm not sure of your point FT with regard to 2 777 aircraft. One large A380 has one crew unloading and handling it's arrival. It's always going to take longer.

http://www.flyertalk...80-economy.html

#10 fountainhall

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:55 PM

I'm not sure of your point FT with regard to 2 777 aircraft. One large A380 has one crew unloading and handling it's arrival. It's always going to take longer.


I was responding to Bob's point about the A380 taking longer at Immigration and suggested that 2 x 777 have more people. Re baggage, I don't know many it takes to unload an A380 compared to a 744 or a 777. I've only flown biz class so far, and at both HKG and BKK my bag is up pretty quick.

Hadn't read that flyertalk thread before. I agree about Immigration at HKG. It certainly seems to be getting worse. As the article points out, though, anyone in a frequent flyer programme of a major airline can apply to use the special fast track booths. As a permanent resident, I use it all the time and I have never had to wait more than 2 minutes to get through.

#11 lexusgs

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 04:36 PM

Ah I see. Well as Emirates now have 23 A380's (in both regular and ULH variants) in service as of today I guess HKG is going to have to get used to even longer queues at immigration. They will be upgrading the 777 service to DXB to A380 on their 2nd daily flight Q1 2013. The reason your bag delievery is quick is because the baggage loading process has the luggage prioritised for the short BKK-HKG hop. The unfortunate guy in the FT thread would have had his loaded at DXB.

#12 fountainhall

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

Re the A380, I completely take your point about last in/first off luggage. But (and do correct me if I'm wrong) surely most airports do not allocate the same number of baggage handlers to an A380 with almost 500 pax as they do to a 777 with around 300 or a 737/A320 with less than 180? In the same way that there are double-deck air bridges for the A380, the number of baggage handlers has to be increased. After all, wherever it lands, the plane still has to be turned around pretty quickly. It's in no-one's interest for bags to be late getting off the planes. The problem presumably occurs where, as in Dubai, you have a clutch of these monsters arriving at more or less the same time.

Re HKG Immigration, sorry I was not referring particularly to A380 arrivals. HKG still has very few of these. It's just that general arrivals have increased so much at HKG - mostly from China.

#13 lexusgs

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:33 PM

In Dubai they have built a specific terminal to cope with the up 60 units they have in the pipeline. 25% more baggage handlers are needed than for an average 777/747. I guess the delay encountered at HKG on baggage delivery is their inexperience of handling that particular aircraft type.

#14 fountainhall

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

The Australian newspapers have photos of the interior of TG's new A380 which starts flying in a few days' time. It claims there is a business class bar. However, the photos make it look merely like a galley space. It is certainly not a proper bar area like Korean or Emirates. With Singapore AIrlines now revamping business class in all its long-haul fleet, it seems TG is once again behind the times!

Attached File  TG_A380_Business_Class_bar.jpg   55.52KB   0 downloads
TG A380 Business Class Bar :angry:

Attached File  EK_Business_Class_Bar.jpg   129.53KB   0 downloads
Emirates A380 Business Class Bar :P




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