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Phuket Flights Direct a First for  Dreamliner

Phuket Flights Direct a First for Dreamliner

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
PHUKET: With Phuket's high season beginning tomorrow, British newspapers are abuzz with the news that a 787 Dreamliner flight is bound for Phuket direct from Britain from November next year.

Thomson Airways says it will launch a weekly service from London's Gatwick airport to Phuket in November 2013, with both Thomson and First Choice agencies offering holidays that include travel on the groundbreaking aircraft.

According to the Daily Mail - world's most popular newspaper site - it's the first flight direct from Britain to Phuket.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine airliner that would take out more space than most airliners at Phuket International Airport.

Phuket airport is expected at this time next year to still be expanding under a construction program that will add a new international terminal.

Reports from the airport for this high season are mixed, with long queues encountered by some outgoing passengers.

Bookings for the Dreamliner service to Phuket will open on November 15.

Meanwhile, Thomson and First Choice - both Tui tour operators - will rebrand two existing hotels in Thailand to add to its offering.

Khao Lak will have a Thomson Couples hotel while Phuket will have a SplashWorld property.

Shona Swain, general manager of long-haul product for Thomson and First Choice, is quoted as saying: ''We are thrilled that we are able to offer an exclusive, direct flight to Phuket on the Thomson 787 Dreamliner and we are confident that our customers will love the destination and the hotels we will be operating to.''

Thomson Airways will become the first British airline to fly the Dreamliner in May 2013, serving Florida and Mexico from Manchester, Gatwick, Glasgow and East Midlands airports.

The aircraft is considered the world's most environmentally-friendly, using 20 percent less fuel than other planes of the same size and causing 60 percent less noise pollution.

It also features higher ceilings and larger windows, and is the first aircraft to abandon the ''bleed air'' system which scientists claim causes aerotoxic syndrome - an illness that can result in dizziness, nausea and breathing difficulties.

The bleed air system draws compressed air through the engines and into the cabin, so if there is an oil or hydraulic fuel leak, toxic chemicals can contaminate the air supply. On the Dreamliner, fresh cabin air is pumped from a separate source.

Comments

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''The bleed air system draws compressed air through the engines and into the cabin, so if there is an oil or hydraulic fuel leak, toxic chemicals can contaminate the air supply.''

Not so. Air does not go through the engines, it is channeled off before the fuel is injected into the burners and then passes through the aircraft's Environmental Control System before entering the cabin. Considering the billions of people that have flown in jets over the last 50 years or so, I understand that only one person has successfully sued Boeing over toxic chemical contamination. Some people are affected by breathing compressed, pressurized air and this is the usual complaint - certainly not the ingestion of toxic chemicals.

I doubt you got your ''publicity fly'' from Boeing, but whatever the source it is not entirely accurate.

Posted by Pete on November 1, 2012 07:05

Editor Comment:

Blame the Daily Telegraph, Pete. We will.

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"Groundbreaking aircraft"... I don't really like the sound of that. It must be solidly constructed though.

Posted by Retired Pilot on November 1, 2012 09:41

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Not really a "direct" service as any service that goes point to point booked on one ticket is direct even if you stop and change on the way. For instance we fly direct from Manchester to Phuket with Qatar changing in Doha, landing in Kuala Lumpur but staying on the plane then on to Phuket. But that is flight geeks semantics.
However, whilst any new services are to be welcomed, the resorts that First Choice (according to their Facebook page) will be using are part of their dreaded All-inclusive portfolio. Great for the resorts, not so great for the local restaurants and bars. Thomson offers B&B which is more in keeping with the majority of visitors.
Thomson tried UK to Phuket direct with refuelling stop charter flights before in early 2000s until refuelling and airport charges were increased and they cancelled the service, leaving many disappointed customers with their holiday plans in ruins. Let's hope this is longer lasting - and no AI!!!!

Posted by Alan on November 1, 2012 15:59


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