Thai Airways will reduce its flights to Australia over the coming six months, affecting services between its Bangkok hub and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with Perth passengers also in for an aircraft swap during the same period.
In a memorandum sent to Australian travel agents, the airline attributed the changes to “aircraft rotation and maintenance requirements”, taking place during Thai Airways’ 'northern winter' scheduling period, which runs from October 28 2018 to March 28 2019.
Here’s what you need to know.
Sydney-Bangkok flights reduced to daily
Currently with 11 return Boeing 747 flights per week, Thai Airways’ Sydney service will move to daily from October 28, preserving flights TG475/476, but with Sydney’s afternoon departure (TG472) and the morning service from Thailand (TG471) being suspended.
Here’s what the new schedule look like, with Sydney flights continuing to be served by jumbos:
AusBT review: Thai Airways' Boeing 747 business class, Sydney-Bangkok
Melbourne-Bangkok flights pared back to 11 weekly flights
Melbourne currently enjoys double-daily Airbus A350 flights from Thai Airways, but this will move to 11 weekly return services from October 28.
The airline’s popular afternoon flight from Melbourne (TG466) and the overnight flight home from Bangkok (TG465) will remain daily, although the morning service from Bangkok (TG461) and the overnight flight from Melbourne (TG462) will reduce to four flights per week, as follows:
All Melbourne flights will continue to be served by Airbus A350-900 aircraft.
Brisbane-Bangkok cut to four flights per week
Brisbane travellers are the hardest hit by Thai Airways’ changes, with the airline moving from a daily service to just four flights per week as of late October.
Thai’s afternoon departures from Brisbane will be maintained on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (TG474), as will overnight Bangkok-Brisbane flights departing on the same calendar days (TG473).
However, Thai’s daytime flights from Bangkok and overnight flights from Brisbane on the other days of the week will be paused, as below.
On the upside, Brisbane will continue to see the airline's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners on every flight.
Perth-Bangkok flights swapped to Airbus A330s
While Perth’s existing flights will remain daily, they’ll no longer be served by Boeing 787-8s: instead, by Airbus A330s.
A Thai Airways spokesperson shared with Australian Business Traveller that this is due to the upkeep of its Boeing 787 fleet, specifically, having an “Aircraft on Ground (AOG)” during the upcoming northern winter period, to allow maintenance work to be performed.
Here’s the schedule between Perth and Bangkok when the A330 comes into play:
Passengers booked on Thai Airways flights that have been cancelled or rescheduled can be rebooked onto an alternative Thai Airways flight at no charge, or may be able to request a refund from Thai Airways or their travel agent if the new flight schedule and alternative flight options don’t suit their needs.