Thai Airways Airbus A350 finally starts Bangkok to Melbourne flights

After more than a year of delays Thai Airways' Airbus A350 has finally started flying to Australia.

The new plane touched down at Melbourne Airport on Sunday morning to mark its inaugural flight on the Bangkok-Melbourne route.

The A350-900 replaces the airline's Boeing 777-200 on the daily route, increasing the number of seats available by 224 each week.

Sydney is also set to host a Thai Airways A350 on its Bangkok route some time in 2018 as the airline increases its fleet of the new Airbus aircraft to 12.

Thai originally announced that it would begin A350 flights to Melbourne in September 2016, but a series of delays – including issues regarding flight approval for the aircraft from Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority – saw the date pushed back.

The Airbus A350, billed as "the world's most advanced twin-aisle aircraft", is the European planemaker's response to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The A350 uses carbon composite materials for some of its fuselage and, like the Dreamliner, this allows it to fly with an interior cabin pressure that is closer to being on the ground. This helps reduce the effects of jet lag and makes for a more comfortable flight.

The Thai Airways A350 has 289 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, with 32 business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout.

Traveller columnist Michael Gebicki flew on the Thai Airways A350 on its delivery flight from Toulouse to Bangkok and praised the quietness of the aircraft, the size of the overhead bins and the height of the cabin ceiling. The Thai Airways A350 also offered wider seats than a typical 787 Dreamliner, making it a more comfortable ride.

See also: Airbus A350 vs Boeing 787 Dreamliner - which aircraft wins in the long haul?

See also: 10 years on - what you didn't know about the first A380 superjumbo

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