Starting with Thai Airways. getting its first Airbus A380 (the first of 6 ordered by thailand's flag carrier). I had the chance to attend the delivery ceremony in Toulouse and will certainly be publishing a longer blog post about this event shortly, but in the meantime you can check out what Flightglobal wrote about it.
By the way, Thai's A380 fleet will be growing soon, aircraft number 2 and 3 are already in Hamburg to get all the necessary fittings, while number 4 is already out of the assembly line, you can see it here, next to two Malaysian A380s (there was also a China Southern A380 next to them).
More A380s ready to head East, where growth is
And the "low-costization" of European short haul continues with Lufthansa's announcement that it is going to launch a low cost airline of its own, integrating Germanwings operation along the way. While the new brand will be, for a start, restricted to Germany's non-hub airports, will see if it ends up like Iberia Express, taking also a sizeable share of the flag carrier's mainline operations.
By the way, Airbus marketing VP Bob Lange reaffirmed to a group of journalists attending Thai Airways' A380 delivery ceremony that the European consortium is sticking to its sales goals for the year, that is, of selling 30 more A380s. This was hours before Emirates Tim Clark expressed interest in acquiring another 30 to 40 A380s in the near future...coincidence?
In any case, with more A380s or not, the story of growth in the United Arab Emirates airline industry is simply amazing, as this report confirms, from 18 million in 2001 to over 70 million in 2011 and I guess it would look even more spectacular if we went 20 years back in time.
Oh! and I almost forgot...I got to fly BA's "Dove"!