Australian Business Traveller

back to all news

Thai Airways cuts back first class, downsizes Sydney flights

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: sydney, Thai Airways

From later this year, Thai Airways is trading in its iconic Boeing 747 for the smaller Boeing 777-300 on selected flights to Sydney, which comes without first class.

The shake-up kicks in from October 26 2014, with the three-times-weekly flights TG472/471 being downsized between Sydney and Bangkok.

A Thai Airways spokesperson revealed to Australian Business Traveller that "as this aircraft type is more efficient than the Boeing 747-400, we are hoping that it will enable us to grow the frequency of this flight through time."

Business class picks up a middle seat on the Boeing 777s, which isn’t found in business on the airline’s Boeing 747 fleet.

The angle of the ‘sloping sleeper’ business class seats remains the same between the Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 aircraft, sitting at a near-flat 170 degrees.

That's still quite a difference to the 180-degree fully-flat beds offered on Thai's newer Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

While Thai doesn't fly its A380 to Australia, the Boeing 777-300ER has been appearing on flights to both Brisbane and Melbourne:

The aircraft schedule hasn't been finalised for Q2 2015, although Thai Airways' spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that the airline "expects this flight to continue with the Boeing 777-300".

For flights through Q1 2015, the aircraft swap is now reflected on the Thai Airways website:

Thai’s Boeing 747s remain on the daily TG476/475 flights – which means that travellers on the overnight services from Bangkok can still maximise their rest in first class.

Ordinarily flying during waking hours, the affected TG472/471 flights can’t be included as part of a first class fare, reducing flexibility for travellers at the pointiest of pointy ends:

The aircraft swap follows the airline’s cut back on flights between Sydney and Bangkok from 12 to 10 each week and Qantas' removal of the Boeing 747 from its Singapore flights.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 26/6/14 by davar98

Thai used to be my favourite airline for years.  Then their Bus class service just got less and less professional, and the quality of food and beverage declined. Then everyone else had flat beds, and they didn't. They are falling behind badly, yet their prices are uncompetitive. Pity - once a great airline.

1 on 26/6/14 by LR

I absolutely agree, I love Thai airways but its time for them to leapfrog there competition not just play catch up. Its time to standardize there fleet to A320 for Thai Smile domestic and short haul international, B787 / B777-300ER / A380 for international long haul. Introduce a proper regional / domestic business class for there A320's and complete the flatbed upgrade (same as A380/B777-300ER) to the remainder of the fleet.                                  I can only dream . . . .

2 on 26/6/14 by Steve

It seems First class options to Sydney and Australia are drying up fast. 

The Thai first class (renewed) product which serves Dom and their legendary lounge with full service spa in Bangkok is still my top 3 experiences to-date.

3 on 28/6/14 by SYDspotter

Thai Airways should put the A380 on the BKK-SYD route!!

1 1 month ago by watson374

They'd need to cut back to a single daily flight to do that.


Related News Items


Australian business traveller newsletter

Get Updates as they happen, tailored to your preferences, right in your inbox


What topics interest you?