Thai Airways International (TG, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) is about to issue a Request for Proposals for 30 widebodies and an undisclosed number of narrowbodies, Chief Executive Chai Eamsiri told Reuters. The airline also confirmed plans to lease twelve A321-200Ns with deliveries in 2025 and 2026.

Chai said the tenders would be sent to Airbus and Boeing in the coming days. Although he did not disclose the exact number of narrowbodies that would be included in the process, he stressed that Thai Airways is looking to increase its narrowbody fleet in the next decade to 30-40 aircraft. The airline currently operates twenty A320-200s through its Thai Smile (Bangkok Suvarnabhumi) subsidiary, which is about to be merged back into the mainline, and plans to add the twelve A321neo in the next few years.

The increased narrowbody fleet will strengthen Thai's position in regional markets in South-East Asia, India, southern China, and southern Japan - a market where, as Chai conceded, the airline's position is currently weak.

As the Thai market is rebounding more rapidly than expected, Thai Airways is currently constrained by aircraft supply. Chai confirmed that on top of the planned RFP for 30 widebodies, the airline plans to source around ten new widebodies on dry lease with deliveries by the first quarter of 2024.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that the airline currently operates three A330-300s, fourteen A350-900s, six B777-200ERs, seventeen B777-300(ER)s, six B787-8s, and two B787-9s. By the first quarter of 2024, it expects to have 56 widebody aircraft.

Chai also said that the airline, which underwent bankruptcy restructuring during the COVID-19 pandemic, would try to relist on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) by the first quarter of 2025 or earlier if its performance is good enough.