Thai Airways has confirmed its order for 45 Boeing wide-body jets as it looks to expand its fleet amid a bankruptcy restructuring, notably opting for GE engines for the first time and moving on from its previously exclusive use of Rolls-Royce turbines. 

While the airline did not confirm the kind of aircraft included in the order, it has been linked to an order of 45 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners announced by the US aircraft manufacturer in December with an undisclosed customer. 

The aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2027 and 2033 though will not all be fully owned by the airline, with CEO Chai Eamsiri confirming that the fleet would be acquired through a ratio of leasing and hire-purchase contracts as part of the rehabilitation plan approved by the Thai bankruptcy court.

The airline entered the bankruptcy restructuring process in 2021 after struggling to deal with the affects of the travel bans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The decision to choose GE Aerospace engines over Rolls-Royce reflects an ongoing dispute between the engine manufacturer and Thai Airways after Eamsiri previously threatened to move to an alternative supplier in the face of Rolls-Royce’s attempt to maintain higher prices as it seeks to boost profits. 

The British manufacturer recently revealed its transformation plan seeking to quadruple profits in the next four years with new CEO Tufan Erginbilgic slim lining the business during a “pivotal point” in its history.

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