Thai Airways will drastically reduce capacity to Australia over the Australian summer with flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all cut from next month. Thai will also downsize the aircraft operating on the Perth-Bangkok route.
The changes come into effect from 28 October 2018, which is the start of the northern winter scheduling period. It was previously reported that this capacity would be reinstated at the end of March 2019, but this is no longer the case. The capacity reductions appear to be permanent.
Sydney will lose four of its eleven weekly Thai Airways flights, with the loss of TG471 and TG472. TG471 is the daytime flight from Bangkok to Sydney, while the latter is the 4pm departure from Sydney to Bangkok. These flights connect well with Thai Airways’ European services. Without TG471/472 running, Sydneysiders will have to endure very long layovers in Bangkok if flying Thai Airways to Europe.
Brisbane loses 3 of its 7 weekly Thai Airways flights to Bangkok. TG477 and TG478 are being suspended, meaning the loss of a day flight from Bangkok to Brisbane and an overnight flight back to Bangkok. There are still good connections available in Bangkok if travelling from Brisbane to Europe, but you’ll now have a layover of approximately 18 hours when flying from Europe back to Brisbane.
Melbourne currently has 2x daily flights to Bangkok. After 28 October, TG461 and TG462 will be trimmed back to 4x weekly. TG465/466 will remain daily. Meanwhile, flights to Perth will be downgraded from a Boeing 787 to an Airbus A330.
While Australia will be hit particularly hard by the reduction in Thai Airways flights, the airline is also reducing flights to many other cities across Asia and Europe during the northern winter.
Thai Airways will continue to use a Boeing 747 on its daily flights from Sydney to Bangkok. But the 747s will have been withdrawn from Europe completely once the Bangkok-Munich route switches from a Boeing 747 to a Boeing 777 next month. The Thai Airways 747s have an outdated Business class product but a nice First class cabin.
Qantas, Jetstar and Emirates also fly from Australia to Thailand. Qantas and Emirates both have daily Sydney-Bangkok flights, while Jetstar flies various routes to Bangkok and Phuket.
Thai Airways is known for its good premium cabin award availability. It’s often quite easy to find Thai Airways Business and First class awards when redeeming miles with Star Alliance airlines such as Singapore Airlines, United or Avianca. On one hand, fewer Thai Airways flights could also mean fewer award seats. But Thai Airways award availability over the Australian summer doesn’t seem to have been impacted too badly so far. In fact, the reduced schedules could push some business travellers onto other airlines – meaning more award seats are opened up on the remaining flights.
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