The roll out of Thai Airways International's brand-new Airbus A350 XWB jets has been put on hold.
The flag carrier had planned to debut the state-of-the-art aircraft on its Bangkok-Melbourne route as part of THAI's enhanced service. But Australian civil aviation authorities have kept THAI in the dark as to whether or when it will approve the airline's application to operate the world's latest commercial airliner to and from Australia.
The authorities were cited as saying they were "unfamiliar" with this type of aircraft, especially on issues related to airworthiness, insiders with knowledge of the matter told the Bangkok Post.
"We are at a loss and absolutely have no idea why it is taking so long for them [Australian officials] to consider our application," said a THAI executive who asked not to be named.
He added that the 60-day period to consider the application had already passed. Uncertainty over the matter and the arrival of THAI's second A350 at Suvarnabhumi airport this week have prompted the flag carrier to reactivate its Plan B for the aircraft. THAI will now deploy its first pair of long-range twin-engine wide-body jet airliners on its European trunk routes, instead of flying to Australia.
As for the first European destinations:
The airline has already sought permission to operate the new aircraft from the European civil aviation authorities, whose endorsement is expected shortly.
THAI expects to start operating the A350s on non-stop flights from Bangkok to major European cities such as London, Paris and Frankfurt by Oct 28.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/transpo ... h-in-limbo