Thai Airways launches retrofitted B747 on London route
From March 31, Thai Airways will be operating its revamped B747-400 with new economy, business and first class seats between London Heathrow and Bangkok.
The jumbo jet will be replacing Thai’s A340-600, which is configured with eight fully flat first class seats, 60 angled lie-flat, 167 degree, business class seats and 199 economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration.
The enhanced 374-seat B747 features 325 economy class seats in a ten-across 3-4-3 layout, with 30 degrees of recline, 32-34 inches of legroom, 16.3-17.5 inches of width and 10.6-inch, audio-video on-demand, seat-back screens. The old economy seat on this aircraft did not offer individual seat-back screens.
The 40-person Royal Silk business class cabin will be arranged 2-2 (26 on the upper deck and 14 on the lower) with 167-degree angled-lie flat shell seats with a 60 to 62-inch pitch, 20-inch width and 15.4-inch in-flight entertainment screen.
The nine Royal first class seats will be fully flat (180-degree recline) with 79-80 inches of legroom, 21 inches of width and 23-inch screens. The product was designed by Priestmangoode and has been built to create a sense of privacy, with sliding screens that separate the seat from the aisle. Each “suite” sits alone, except for E and F in row three, which are a pair.
“The arrival of the B747 is just another stage in Thai’s massive long-term investment – 49 new and retrofitted aircraft have been introduced in the fleet between 2010 and 2013,” says a spokesman for the airline.
The twice-daily service sees London flights depart at 1230, arriving in Bangkok at 0605 the following day, and at 2130, arriving in Bangkok 1505 the following day. The return flights leave Bangkok at 0015, arriving in London at 0620 the same day, and at 1330, arriving in London 1935 the same day. Flight time between the two cities is about 11 hours and 35 minutes.
Report by Jenny Southan
Shanwick1249 - 19/03/2013 12:35
This is still a fail. No proper flat seats in Business means no proper seats. There is no improvement, why bother?
dcjdjay - 19/03/2013 14:54
All of Thai's Airbus A340-600s have individual seatback TV monitors in Economy Class. Please correct this.
And as far as their 170 degree lie-flat seats go, they're pretty good. And with Thai's high service standards, these beat much of the competition.
AlexUpgrade77 - 19/03/2013 15:17
The 40-person Royal Silk business class cabin will be arranged 2-2 (26 on the upper deck and 14 on the lower).
Do you mean the other way around?
BusinessTraveller - 19/03/2013 16:56
Hi AlexUpgrade77 - the layout is definitely 14 business class seats on the lower deck, and 26 on the upper deck, as show in this seatplan.
BusinessTraveller - 19/03/2013 17:05
Thanks dcjdjay - this PDF on Thai's website supports your post above, so we have amended the piece accordingly.
qatarsteve - 21/03/2013 14:27
I may be wrong but this is being advertised as retrofitted but apart from individual screens in economy isn't this the same 20 odd year old planes that Thai had on the London route two or three years ago with no change in business class?
tiggerbrown - 21/03/2013 18:52
Anyone any idea where the wider seats in economy are located, as every inch counts ;-)
Jimmywright - 21/03/2013 21:41
Tigerbrown, simple answer is yes. The history is Thai used to operate the 744 to LHR and the A340-600's to Sydney. When the UK economy went down the gurgler Thai swapped them around, operating the 744 to Sydney and the 346's to London.
This is really just a return to the way things were for LHR at least (though of course some of the 744's are now refurbished), for Sydney though the 744's are also staying, so not sure which route is gaining the 346's.
lostantipod - 23/03/2013 18:38
Just looked at the new business class seat on the Thai website. Using the interactive buttons, in sleep mode the seat looks terrible - its not even 170 degrees in a straight line. While the seat pad moves out as the backrest reclines, the part of the seat that would support your legs from the knees down does not even align with the seat pad. It just seem to dangle below it. Anybody seen the real thing yet? Based on what I see on the website, I (still) wont be flying Thai on my regular trips to Aus.
tiggerbrown - 24/03/2013 18:05
Thanks jimmywright, but you seemed to have answered a question I didn't ask!
What I'd like to know is where, on the 744, the wider Y seats are located, as the article states "32-34 inches of legroom, 16.3-17.5 inches of width". The seatplans I've looked at so far don't indicate which are the wider & which have the greater pitch.
Anyone any idea?
ChrisJR - 25/03/2013 10:08
This is a backwards step - at least on the A346 in business class you could get a middle seat in the 2-2-2 configuration and not have to climb over, or be climbed over, to get to the aisle. I suppose with the B744 the upstairs business class seats by the window offer a lot of storage space, and you are in a pieceful cabin, but overall I would still prefer the A346. Seats in business - cannot help but feel you a slipping off the end when in lie flat position.
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