Thai Airways launches new discount airline

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In a move to protect its business share in the lucrative discount carrier market, Thai Airways is launching a new discount airline, Thai Smile.

The new unit will be positioned as a mid-tier airline, between the main brand Thai Airways and the airline’s lower-end no-frills carrier Nok Air.

Thai Smile, which will conduct its maiden flight on July 7 from Bangkok to Macao, aims to carry about 300,000 passengers per year when in full mode. It expects profit already in 2013 when its revenue should rise to 4.9 billion baht  from 1.8 billion baht in 2012 with 150 flights a week on nine routes and with four Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet so far, the company said at the launch press conference on April 27.

Its main hub will be Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. All passengers will enjoy free ‘light premium’ services such as seat selection and on-board refreshments, as opposed to its main rival Thai AirAsia, and a baggage allowance of 20kg.

With Thai Smile and Nok Air, of which is holds a 49 per cent stake, Thai Airways is responding to the strong demand for air traffic in Southeast Asia, especially in the budget sector. The launch of Thai Smile is also seen as a preparation for the complete liberalisation of the regional airline sector in 2015, when the ASEAN Economic community comes into effect.

The launch of the new airline is certainly a response to the growth of Thai AirAsia, which currently has the highest market share in Thailand’s discount carrier market. Thai AirAsia reacted to the launch of  Thai Smile with ‘special offers’ on the lucrative Bangkok Macao route from July 7 onwards.

From July, Thailand will have five discount or niche carriers airlines: Thai AirAsia, Thai Smile, Nok Air, Orient Thai, and Bangkok Airways.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

In a move to protect its business share in the lucrative discount carrier market, Thai Airways is launching a new discount airline, Thai Smile.

Reading Time: 1 minute

In a move to protect its business share in the lucrative discount carrier market, Thai Airways is launching a new discount airline, Thai Smile.

The new unit will be positioned as a mid-tier airline, between the main brand Thai Airways and the airline’s lower-end no-frills carrier Nok Air.

Thai Smile, which will conduct its maiden flight on July 7 from Bangkok to Macao, aims to carry about 300,000 passengers per year when in full mode. It expects profit already in 2013 when its revenue should rise to 4.9 billion baht  from 1.8 billion baht in 2012 with 150 flights a week on nine routes and with four Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet so far, the company said at the launch press conference on April 27.

Its main hub will be Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. All passengers will enjoy free ‘light premium’ services such as seat selection and on-board refreshments, as opposed to its main rival Thai AirAsia, and a baggage allowance of 20kg.

With Thai Smile and Nok Air, of which is holds a 49 per cent stake, Thai Airways is responding to the strong demand for air traffic in Southeast Asia, especially in the budget sector. The launch of Thai Smile is also seen as a preparation for the complete liberalisation of the regional airline sector in 2015, when the ASEAN Economic community comes into effect.

The launch of the new airline is certainly a response to the growth of Thai AirAsia, which currently has the highest market share in Thailand’s discount carrier market. Thai AirAsia reacted to the launch of  Thai Smile with ‘special offers’ on the lucrative Bangkok Macao route from July 7 onwards.

From July, Thailand will have five discount or niche carriers airlines: Thai AirAsia, Thai Smile, Nok Air, Orient Thai, and Bangkok Airways.

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