Thai Airways: our 1st class A380 passengers don't want suites

By David Flynn, July 18 2011
Thai Airways: our 1st class A380 passengers don't want suites

Thai Airways will resist the trend towards fully enclosed first-class suites in its new Airbus A380, which take to the skies from August next year, and will debut the first superjumbos on regional Asian flights rather than the popular Bangkok-London route.

Thai Airways president Piyasvasti Amranand tells Business Traveller that while London and Frankfurt "will be the logical destinations for (the) A380", given that both are already served by Thai's double-daily Boeing 747 flights, the A380s will be used "for regional routes first; when we are ready, we can have Bangkok-London.”

Amranand also maintains that "Our survey with passengers shows that more than half prefer partially closed suites, not something completely closed".

Thai's first class cabin, which will share the A380's upper deck with business class, is designed around a partially-enclosed design nominally similar to those of Qantas, BA and Cathay Pacific, which the airline calls a 'mini suite'.

There are 12 mini-suites in the Royal First cabin.

Each seat is 26.5 inches wide, and of course converts into a fully flat bed.

Between the centre seats is a sliding privacy screen, while the aisle-side walls seem to offer less privacy than Cathay Pacific's new business class cabin.

Each seat boasts a massive 23 inch personal video screen, with in-flight wireless Internet available through the plane.

The first class toilet has a separate 'dressing area'.

There's also a choice of two lounge areas, with the mandatory bar between them.

Further along the top deck are the 60 seats of the Royal Silk business class cabin.

Each set is 20 inches wide, with 74 inches of legroom and converts into a lie-flat bed.

A staggered 1-2-1 layout provides direct aisle access for all passengers.

You'll have to make do with a 15 inch personal video screen...

... but at least there's also a bar to slake your thirst.

Down below, in the belly of the Airbus A380, are the economy class passengers in a galley-like layout of 435 economy seats.

Thai Airways has chosen not to fit Premium Economy seats on its superjumbo fleet. 

The Recaro seats are 18 inches wide with 32 inches of legroom and a 10.6 inch in-seat video screen.

You can see Thai Airway's video walkthrough of its A380 below:


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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