Thai Airways is now a member of the superjumbo club, with its first Airbus A380 set to take to the skies – and Australian Business Traveller was on hand to bring you these first photos from inside Thai's big bird.
These are the obligatory glossy PR pictures, of course – we've snapped our own very detailed 'real life' shots of the seats and cabin when we joined a handful of invited media on the A380's delivery flight from Airbus HQ in Toulouse, France to Bangkok.
Thai will be flying the Airbus A380 to Hong Kong, Singapore, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, Sydney and possibly London – click here for the dates and details.
Thai Airways A380 Royal First Class
At the front of Thai's A380 upper deck are the 12 mini-suites of Royal First Class.
Thai Airways president Piyasvasti Amranand says this design was chosen over fully-enclosed private suites because "our survey with passengers shows that more than half prefer partially closed suites, not something completely closed".
Each seat is 26.5 inches wide with an 83 inch pitch, and boasts a 23 inch flat screen TV.
We're glad that an airline has exercised restraint in the outfitting of its suites: no brashly gilded opulence here, just the refined luxury of a clean and modern cream-white palette.
The centre suites have a movable divider, so if you're travelling with a (very well-paid) colleague or someone else you fancy talking to during the flight, you can raise and lower it at your convenience.
Naturally there's plenty of stowage space for the many personal inflight items which we all seem to be toting these days.
Our press pack didn't include many pics we hoped for, such as the lounge area at the very front of the upper deck, but you can bet we'll take some photos of this when we fly the A380 back to Bangkok.
Until then, here are some images snapped from Thai's own promotional video of the A380 cabin mock-ups.
The lounge area located in front of first class has convertible multi-purpose seating.
There's a three-seater table that can be slotted into place -- perfect for a meeting or dining together.
Those seats also convert into a pair of two-seater sofas.
If you need something to wet your whistle, there's a fully stocked first class bar en route.
The lavatories are spacious too, with a separate dressing table for changing into your stylish yet comfortable in-flight wear.
Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk business class
Stretched along most of the upper deck is the Royal Silk business class cabin.
The 60 seats are arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 layout.
This is probably the best business class layout in the skies: everyone has direct access to the aisle, with nobody crawling over you in the middle of the night while you're trying to get some sleep.
And speaking of sleep...
With 20 inches seat width, a 180 degree lie-flat design and wrap-around privacy screen, these seats should be among the best for getting a sound snooze in the sky.
When you're not flat out, there's an ample 74 inch pitch and a generously-proportioned table.
There's also a 15 inch video screen.
Thai has plumped for seats from EADS Sogerma, who also make the seats for Etihad's staggered business class layout.
Each seat has its own side table, with the feet of the passenger behind tucking underneath the side table belonging to the passenger in front.
Even if they're not as swish as the first class lavatories, Thai's business class loos are also a step up from the norm. (We assume they actually come with doors, though.)
Thai Airways A380 economy class
The entire lower deck is given over to 377 economy seats, with 58 more slotted in at the rear of the upper deck behind business class (we expect this will become the economy cabin of choice).
Each economy seat is 18 inches wide, in the usual 3-4-3 configuration with a 32 inch seat pitch.
You also get a 10.6 inch screen plus, we're happy to say, an AC power outlet for every seat.
We'll bring you more photos plus a full report on Thai's A380 first, business and economy class seats next week.
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