Thai Airways, in a 1Q2012 investor presentation, confirmed (Jan-2012) Thai Smile plans to commence its first service on 01-Jul-2012, after receiving its first new aircraft in Jun-2012. The carrier, a new fully-owned LCC subsidiary of Thai Airways, is expected to take delivery of four narrowbody aircraft in 2012, followed by six in 2013, eight in 2014, and 11 aircraft p/a between 2015 and 2018. Thai Airways stated the carrier will be based at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, with a network of domestic and regional secondary routes. The carrier plans to commence with domestic services, but has outlined the following services as future destinations (although no timetable was disclosed for service launches): Kochi, Hyderabad, Amedabad, Luang Prabang, Yangon, Seoul, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, Danang, Phuket, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The carrier will operate a two-class product. In contrast, Nok Air will operate domestic point-to-point services from its Bangkok Don Meung base, with a network covering the following destinations: Mae Hong Son, Chiangmai, Roi Et, Buri Ram, Surat Thani, Mae Sot Nan, Phitsanulok, Loei, Udon Thani, Nakon Phanom, Trang, Hat Yai, Narathiwat, Nakon Si, Thammarat, Sakon Nakhon, Ubon Ratchathani and Phuket. Thai Airways noted Thai Smile will sit between Nok Air, which connects domestic destinations with a no-frills service, and Thai Airways, which has a focus on domestic, regional and intercontinental routes with a premium service and product (widebody premium regional services and two and three-class intercontinental services). [more - original Presentation]
Thai Smile to launch service on 01-Jul-2012
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This is the second part of a report on the Thai Airways Group's regional international network and strategy. The first part looked at how the group has fallen behind its rivals in Southeast Asia – particularly the Singapore Airlines Group – in improving regional connectivity. In this second part CAPA focuses on the strategy for Thai Smile and how the Thai Airways group could finally start to use Thai Smile to bolster regional connectivity.
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Thai Airways and its regional subsidiary Thai Smile are accelerating expansion in Southeast Asia as part of a new strategy for the ASEAN market. Under the new strategy, Thai Smile is increasing focus on Southeast Asia while pursuing closer integration with its parent airline.
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