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:
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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!