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Vladex
Topic Author
Posts: 475
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:44 pm

Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:34 pm

This got to me and this is the only A380 route that I have seen empty on multiple occasions. I know Hong Kong is wealthy but over served anyway. Thailand is a top tourist destination so shouldn't they be flying it to Europe , Dubai or maybe even USA?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYSTWQcVnOw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoHzET2g_Is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvVwF7wBhzs
 
rutankrd
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:05 pm

Maintenance at HIAL.

They fly the whale to Paris , Frankfurt , Tokyo and Osaka with seasonal operations on one of the two daily Heathrow flights . The A388 is rather premium heavy for Thai International being the only fleet to offer First Class and almost double the Business class seats of their 77w and 359 fleets.
So their deployment is pretty limited to those five routes plus one spare !
 
TC957
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:25 pm

They do, a quick bit of research will show you they fly BKK to FRA & CDG year round and seasonally in winter to LHR.
DXB - no, not with EK having so many multiple A380 flights into BKK.
USA - I often wondered why TG didn't do a joint ( code-shared ) service with Star A partner UA into SFO, it's within range of the 380 and would get plenty of feed both ends.
SYD is another route I would have thought suitable for TG's A380, since they use 744's there now still which are on their way out gradually.
 
raylee67
Posts: 916
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:35 pm

TG is probably just flying whatever plane they have available for a quick mid-day turnaround. Otherwise, the A380 will be sitting at BKK between long haul flights unused anyway. That's part of the reason you would see CX flying 4-class 77W on HKG-TPE/MNL or Asiana flying A380 on HKG-ICN. They both don't even sell first class tickets on those flights.

HKG-BKK is mainly tourist flights and they are highly seasonal. TG's fare is not competitive compare to LCCs, but it's usually cheaper than CX. I have been on a TG A330-300 on HKG-BKK that only has 50 passengers on it at most.
319/20/21 332/33 342/43/45 359/51 388 707 717 732/36/3G/38/39 74R/42/43/44/4E/48 757 762/63 772/7L/73/7W 788/89 D10 M80 135/40/45 175/90 DH1/4 CRJ/R7 L10
AY LH OU SR BA FI LX
AA DL UA NW AC CP WS FL NK PD
CI NH SQ KA CX JL BR OZ TG KE CA CZ NZ JQ RS
 
Blerg
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:41 pm

How come Osaka gets the A380? Are there mostly for business passengers or wealthy holidaymakers?
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 208
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:20 pm

Back in the day Continental ran 777’s between EWR and MCO and when I talked with one of the pilots she said they used that route for upgrading pilots to get short, quick turns to get their ratings.
 
clrd4t8koff
Posts: 1667
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:28 pm

rutankrd wrote:
Maintenance at HIAL.

They fly the whale to Paris , Frankfurt , Tokyo and Osaka with seasonal operations on one of the two daily Heathrow flights . The A388 is rather premium heavy for Thai International being the only fleet to offer First Class and almost double the Business class seats of their 77w and 359 fleets.
So their deployment is pretty limited to those five routes plus one spare !


The A380 is not the only aircraft at TG to offer First Class. The 744 also has it. I just flew on it MUC-BKK.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 18199
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:46 pm

Vladex wrote:
This got to me and this is the only A380 route that I have seen empty on multiple occasions. I know Hong Kong is wealthy but over served anyway. Thailand is a top tourist destination so shouldn't they be flying it to Europe , Dubai or maybe even USA?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYSTWQcVnOw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoHzET2g_Is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvVwF7wBhzs

Define empty? They do fly it to Europe; they just happen to be on the ground in BKK between longhaul flights
I don't take responsibility at all
 
ewt340
Posts: 1273
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:19 am

Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.
 
mdavies06
Posts: 545
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:31 am

A couple of possible explanations:
The outbound/inbound is empty, but the inbound/outbound may be completely full. It depends on the time of the day and the season
The short turn is used in between long haul legs to increase aircraft utilisation
The flight might be empty upstairs, but cargo could be going out full. TG does not have its own dedicated freighter fleet as far as I know
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:42 am

Blerg wrote:
How come Osaka gets the A380? Are there mostly for business passengers or wealthy holidaymakers?


Neither. It's mostly a tourist route, both directions (Tons of Thais visiting Japan, and of course, Japanese do vacation in Thailand). Not sure how full the flight usually is, but that route has been A388 for a long time.

The flight is usually flown with a 773A anyway.

ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.


The 744s are on their way out. As for A380 - what are they supposed to do with them anyway? Sale them? To who?
 
dredgy
Posts: 498
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:13 am

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:26 am

ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.


They are state-backed, have high loads and have been profitable 2 of the last 3 years. They aren't going anywhere, and they have been in much worse spots. Their most recent loss has little, if anything, to do with mixed fleet - and their passenger numbers are seeing double digit growth, with revenue up as well and a few large one off expenses.

Thai did struggle last time fuel prices soared, but they're in a better position to deal with it now.
 
FriscoHeavy
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 4:31 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:36 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
Blerg wrote:
How come Osaka gets the A380? Are there mostly for business passengers or wealthy holidaymakers?


Neither. It's mostly a tourist route, both directions (Tons of Thais visiting Japan, and of course, Japanese do vacation in Thailand). Not sure how full the flight usually is, but that route has been A388 for a long time.

The flight is usually flown with a 773A anyway.

ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.


The 744s are on their way out. As for A380 - what are they supposed to do with them anyway? Sale them? To who?


They aren’t boats, so no, they can’t sale them. Perhaps thay could sell them though. :lol:
Whatever
 
EChid
Posts: 567
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:09 am

FriscoHeavy wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

The 744s are on their way out. As for A380 - what are they supposed to do with them anyway? Sale them? To who?


They aren’t boats, so no, they can’t sale them. Perhaps thay could sell them though. :lol:


Boats sail.

And the A380 is a perfectly usable on several of their routes. Their passenger loads are increasing steadily, they essentially have one hub. Why are the 747s taking so long to retire? Given all of the A380s flying into SYD, I'm surprised they don't fly it in there.
 
United Airline
Posts: 8971
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:24 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:30 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
Blerg wrote:
How come Osaka gets the A380? Are there mostly for business passengers or wealthy holidaymakers?


Neither. It's mostly a tourist route, both directions (Tons of Thais visiting Japan, and of course, Japanese do vacation in Thailand). Not sure how full the flight usually is, but that route has been A388 for a long time.

The flight is usually flown with a 773A anyway.

ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.


The 744s are on their way out. As for A380 - what are they supposed to do with them anyway? Sale them? To who?


They are keeping the B747-400s for a while. They have also decided to keep all the A380s
 
hz747300
Posts: 2417
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:05 am

raylee67 wrote:
TG is probably just flying whatever plane they have available for a quick mid-day turnaround. Otherwise, the A380 will be sitting at BKK between long haul flights unused anyway. That's part of the reason you would see CX flying 4-class 77W on HKG-TPE/MNL or Asiana flying A380 on HKG-ICN. They both don't even sell first class tickets on those flights.

HKG-BKK is mainly tourist flights and they are highly seasonal. TG's fare is not competitive compare to LCCs, but it's usually cheaper than CX. I have been on a TG A330-300 on HKG-BKK that only has 50 passengers on it at most.


This is true, even for the other A380 operators regionally. In both Asiana and Emirates (on the BKK-HKG routing) we've been in First Class after paying for Business Class. I always assumed that the Thai and Malaysian A380s were just to keep the planes busy during the day before they do their long haul work overnight.
Keep on truckin'...
 
juliuswong
Posts: 2021
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:36 am

ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.

TG is one of Thai Government's biggest employer. It will not sink, at any cost, same as SAA, AI, MH and AZ.

As many have mentioned here, the 8 B747-400 is on their way out together with 11 B772A/B773A, they are currently waiting to be replaced by next generation wide body, which order is still pending. Should either be B787-9/10 or more A350.

The 8 787 and 15 A330 are to replace to previous A300-600R fleet (total 21). The A333 are young too.

The 12 A350 is to replace the 10 B744 which have since retired/scrapped.

The 6 A380 is for high trunk route, including Scandinavian routes which are very popular at certain times of the year.

The rest 15 B77W are here to stay since they are pretty young.

Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).

The only fleet on "For Sell" list is the 9 A345/346.

Worth noting, Thai runs a huge maintenance hub at Utapao International Airport, they can do MRO on most, if not, all current and past Boeing and Airbus products. Hence, fleet diversity is not an issue for TG.
- Life is a journey, travel it well -
 
ZK-NBT
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 5:42 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:54 am

juliuswong wrote:
ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.

TG is one of Thai Government's biggest employer. It will not sink, at any cost, same as SAA, AI, MH and AZ.

As many have mentioned here, the 8 B747-400 is on their way out together with 11 B772A/B773A, they are currently waiting to be replaced by next generation wide body, which order is still pending. Should either be B787-9/10 or more A350.

The 8 787 and 15 A330 are to replace to previous A300-600R fleet (total 21). The A333 are young too.

The 12 A350 is to replace the 10 B744 which have since retired/scrapped.

The 6 A380 is for high trunk route, including Scandinavian routes which are very popular at certain times of the year.

The rest 15 B77W are here to stay since they are pretty young.

Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).

The only fleet on "For Sell" list is the 9 A345/346.

Worth noting, Thai runs a huge maintenance hub at Utapao International Airport, they can do MRO on most, if not, all current and past Boeing and Airbus products. Hence, fleet diversity is not an issue for TG.


TG have never run A380’s to Scandinavia, I’m not saying they never will though given they use 77W’s sometimes more than 1 daily.

Fleet diversity might not be an issue but such small sub fleets aren’t exactly efficient either.

I’m not sure TG ever planned to get rid of the A380 fleet, personally I wouldn’t be surprised if they added 2-3 more, LHR can be year round and maybe MUC otherwise Japan is a big market for them.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:46 am

juliuswong wrote:
Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).


And that 734 is leaving by end of this year (along with the Koh Samui route).

juliuswong wrote:
As many have mentioned here, the 8 B747-400 is on their way out together with 11 B772A/B773A, they are currently waiting to be replaced by next generation wide body, which order is still pending. Should either be B787-9/10 or more A350.


My guess is a split order. It is TG after all :scratchchin: . More 789 does makes sense, though (No clue why they get 2x 789 and no more, maybe they had a specific route in mind when they order them).

FriscoHeavy wrote:
They aren’t boats, so no, they can’t sale them. Perhaps thay could sell them though.


Haha...apology for my awful English :banghead: :banghead:

P.S. At least this is not Youtube, gotta love all those comments on there saying how "TG is going out of business" based on a single empty A380 flight on a route that's usually not even flown by a A380.
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:52 am

They have a salad of a fleet and it's only inevitable that the network will reflect this at one point or the other.
Vahroone
 
FriscoHeavy
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:00 pm

EChid wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:

The 744s are on their way out. As for A380 - what are they supposed to do with them anyway? Sale them? To who?


They aren’t boats, so no, they can’t sale them. Perhaps thay could sell them though. :lol:


Boats sail.

And the A380 is a perfectly usable on several of their routes. Their passenger loads are increasing steadily, they essentially have one hub. Why are the 747s taking so long to retire? Given all of the A380s flying into SYD, I'm surprised they don't fly it in there.


EPIC Fail on my part!!! I was way too tired when I posted that!!! :)
Whatever
 
EChid
Posts: 567
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:42 pm

FriscoHeavy wrote:
EChid wrote:
FriscoHeavy wrote:

They aren’t boats, so no, they can’t sale them. Perhaps thay could sell them though. :lol:


Boats sail.

And the A380 is a perfectly usable on several of their routes. Their passenger loads are increasing steadily, they essentially have one hub. Why are the 747s taking so long to retire? Given all of the A380s flying into SYD, I'm surprised they don't fly it in there.


EPIC Fail on my part!!! I was way too tired when I posted that!!! :)


I'm frequently guilty of my own grammar gaffs.
 
xxcr
Posts: 468
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:09 pm

rutankrd wrote:
Maintenance at HIAL.

They fly the whale to Paris , Frankfurt , Tokyo and Osaka with seasonal operations on one of the two daily Heathrow flights . The A388 is rather premium heavy for Thai International being the only fleet to offer First Class and almost double the Business class seats of their 77w and 359 fleets.
So their deployment is pretty limited to those five routes plus one spare !


TG A380 isnt the only aircraft with First, their 744 have first, just not as luxurious.
 
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zkojq
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 pm

juliuswong wrote:
Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).

Why?
First to fly the 787-9
 
zakuivcustom
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:00 pm

zkojq wrote:
juliuswong wrote:
Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).

Why?


According to this:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ce-449586/

Basically:
1. USM is owned by Bangkok Airways, thus, they can highly limit how many flights that's not operated by themselves (I believe 5 roundtrips per day).
2. A320 is supposely too heavy to take off from the short runway at USM. TG's 734 are lower density (thus less weight), while Thai Smile's A320 are high density. I guess even a reconfiguration wouldn't work good enough for those A320. Nor TG thinks it's worthwhile for them to get a smaller narrowbody (i.e. A319)

Side note, Bangkok Airways operates A319 and ATR72 into USM, but nothing larger. Both airplanes can easily take off from USM.
 
UAEflyer
Posts: 1265
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:51 pm

TC957 wrote:
They do, a quick bit of research will show you they fly BKK to FRA & CDG year round and seasonally in winter to LHR.
DXB - no, not with EK having so many multiple A380 flights into BKK.

If you just know how their A359 is full you will question why they are not sending their A380 to DXB, I always wondered why they never consider DXB for the A380. I fly Thai regularly from DXB and never saw less than 90% LF on a weekday flight, always their J is overbooked according to their staff.
 
ewt340
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Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:35 pm

ZK-NBT wrote:
juliuswong wrote:
ewt340 wrote:
Thai Airways is a damn mess. They use 6 different aircraft family. But they don't have many of them either.

8 B747-400, 8 B787, 15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, and 32 B777.

They don't need A380, B747-400 no more. They need to retire their fleet, otherwise they gonna goes under soon.

TG is one of Thai Government's biggest employer. It will not sink, at any cost, same as SAA, AI, MH and AZ.

As many have mentioned here, the 8 B747-400 is on their way out together with 11 B772A/B773A, they are currently waiting to be replaced by next generation wide body, which order is still pending. Should either be B787-9/10 or more A350.

The 8 787 and 15 A330 are to replace to previous A300-600R fleet (total 21). The A333 are young too.

The 12 A350 is to replace the 10 B744 which have since retired/scrapped.

The 6 A380 is for high trunk route, including Scandinavian routes which are very popular at certain times of the year.

The rest 15 B77W are here to stay since they are pretty young.

Thai Smile operates 20 A320 which replaced all previous B734 except one HS-TDH (Retained for specifically Koh Samui route).

The only fleet on "For Sell" list is the 9 A345/346.

Worth noting, Thai runs a huge maintenance hub at Utapao International Airport, they can do MRO on most, if not, all current and past Boeing and Airbus products. Hence, fleet diversity is not an issue for TG.


TG have never run A380’s to Scandinavia, I’m not saying they never will though given they use 77W’s sometimes more than 1 daily.

Fleet diversity might not be an issue but such small sub fleets aren’t exactly efficient either.

I’m not sure TG ever planned to get rid of the A380 fleet, personally I wouldn’t be surprised if they added 2-3 more, LHR can be year round and maybe MUC otherwise Japan is a big market for them.



That's my point, small sub fleets within Thai operations is the one that irk me the most. Not the amount of fleet diversity they use. If they have at least 30 aircraft from each sub fleets, then I would said, fair enough. But less than 15 aircraft on some sub fleet is just absurd for efficiency.

15 A330, 12 A350, 6 A380, 8 B747, and 8 B787. The only justified aircraft is A330 and the B777 variants that come at 32 frames.

Since they use 9-abreast on their B777, they could easily replace all their B777-200ER with B787-9 or A350-900, B777-300ER with A350-1000, B777-200 with A330-300 and B777-300 with B787-10. All of these replacements have identical seating configurations. With B737 and B747 on the way out, they could reduce the sub fleets to 4 aircraft type with A330, A350, A380 and B787. Or maybe use B787-9/-10 to replace A330-300 in the future as well.
 
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EastLondoner
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:13 pm

Re: Why is Thai flying empty A380's to Hong Kong?

Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:47 pm

UAEflyer wrote:
TC957 wrote:
They do, a quick bit of research will show you they fly BKK to FRA & CDG year round and seasonally in winter to LHR.
DXB - no, not with EK having so many multiple A380 flights into BKK.

If you just know how their A359 is full you will question why they are not sending their A380 to DXB, I always wondered why they never consider DXB for the A380. I fly Thai regularly from DXB and never saw less than 90% LF on a weekday flight, always their J is overbooked according to their staff.


Might be a case of flying what you can fill instead of not filling an A380 and then not making money off it. Another potential reason could be that they don't have enough A380s to justify adding a Dubai service.

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