Thai Airways International will delay introducing the Airbus A350 XWB on services to Melbourne because the aircraft has not yet been approved by the Australian authorities.
“Due to additional inspections and requirements from Australian authorities on Thai’s newest aircraft type A350XWB, the approval process is not able to be completed in time for Thai to operate the maiden flight by September 16, 2016,” the carrier’s president Charamporn Jotikasthira said in a statement on the airline’s website.
“Previously in 2014, the approval of Thai’s 787-8 Dreamliner was much shorter. Thai, therefore, needs to delay operating the A350XWB to Melbourne until the authorities have completed their approval process.”
The airline says it expects approval to be finalised in time for the aircraft to debut on the route when the winter schedule comes into force in October. In the meantime, Thai will continue to use the Boeing 777-200 on its twice-daily flights between Bangkok and Melbourne.
While approval from the Australian authorities is sought, the A350s will continue to fly on domestic services from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Phuket.