Thai Airways expands fleet with firm order for 45 Boeing 787s, with potential for more

Thai Airways, the national carrier of Thailand, has placed a firm order for 45 Boeing 787 jets, with options that could potentially boost the size of the deal to around 80 aircraft. This order comes as a response to the rising demand for international travel.


The deal, which is set to be formally unveiled later this month, is already reflected in Boeing's published order backlog as a contract for 45 planes with an undisclosed customer. Boeing declined to comment and referred questions to Thai Airways, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.


The airplanes will be powered by engines from GE Aerospace, which currently dominates the market for 787 engines in competition with Britain’s Rolls-Royce. This marks a new chapter for the Asian carrier, which is a longstanding customer of Rolls-Royce. It is also a win for GE as the airline currently flies Rolls engines on its existing 787s.

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The Boeing 787 competes with the Airbus A350, which only has Rolls engines. Industry sources have said engine negotiations spilled over to the choice of the airplane as Thai’s decision to reject the A350 in favor of the 787 was partly influenced by disagreements over engine maintenance pricing with Rolls. Rolls-Royce, GE, and Airbus declined to comment.

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