Thai Airways International has been forced to delay once more the deployment of its growing fleet of A350-900s on international flights following complications with the aircraft’s type certification with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the CASA.
Thai took delivery of its first A350, HS-THB (cn 44), in late August with plans to use the aircraft on flights from Bangkok (BKK) to Melbourne (MEL) from the middle of September onwards, before being forced to delay the launch date to early October.
However, according to The Bangkok Post, sources familiar with the matter indicate CASA officials have withheld giving the A350 the greenlight given their “unfamiliarity” with the aircraft, especially on issues related to airworthiness. Thai is now planing to instead use the aircraft on key routes from Bangkok to Europe and will continue to serve Melbourne with B747-400s, B777-200s and B777-300(ER)s.
As of right now, the Australian authority still hasn’t given a provisional date as to when they can begin planning to start flights.
Given the current status-quo, Thai is using its two A350s to serve the local cities of Chiang Mai and Phuket from its hub in Bangkok.