Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thai Airways has revealed on the GDS that it will be reducing its flights to PVG-Shanghai, China effective immediately till the end of the Summer 2009 IATA season. Currently, flights are flown 11 times per week using a B 743 daily + 4 weekly A 333, however that is being reduced to a daily nonstop service only using a B 747-300. TG has also officially confirmed that it regrets ordering the A 380 and would love to cancel the 6 air frames that it has on order but it unfortunately cannot due to various legal ramifications with Airbus and other sub-contractors.
This is what happens when airlines give in to political pressure + lobbying + the need to order planes to not only keep up with the competition but also for status symbol purposes. TG's 6 A 380s were meant to be used on daily LHR + daily FRA + daily CDG routes only (2 aircraft each). But the question is, did it really need to order the aircraft when its closest direct competitor i.e. Cathay Pacific still hasnt! There is also no need for TG to be operating wide bodied aircraft with a First class cabin on board as unlike HKG/SIN/NRT/PVG, BKK doesnt fit into that high end market segment where there is lots of high yielding F class demand year round as BKK isnt a financial capital like these other cities are! So if TG wanted more capacity and to cut costs, it should have done the following:
Increase capacity of its B 744s by replacing F class seats with more Y class seats
An order should have been placed for Boeing 777-300ERs to replace the B 744 fleet with the B 77Ws being configured in a 2 class layout only.