Thai Airline to buy Airbus jets


BANGKOK, Thailand — Thailand’s Bangkok Airways Ltd. has signed a deal to buy up to six Airbus A350-XWB aircraft for about $720 million as part of its plans to become a long-haul operator, a media report said Friday.

The agreement involves a firm order for four of the wide-bodied planes and an option for two more at a price of around $120 million each, Dow Jones Newswires said, citing an unnamed airline official.

The airline has also reached a deal with Rolls Royce for equipping the aircraft with its Trent 800 engines and providing maintenance services for 10 years, said the official, according to the report.

The delivery of the A350-XWBs will allow Bangkok Airways, which currently operates only domestic and regional routes, to start flying to long-haul destinations.

The new planes are expected to serve cities within six to 12 flight hours of Thailand and the airline is currently eyeing Europe as its prime target, the official said.

Four previously ordered Airbus A319 aircraft will be delivered later this year, with three more coming next year. The A319 planes will allow the carrier to increase flight frequency on its regional and domestic routes, said the official.