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- 89 Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road,
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- Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport
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- Full Service Carrier
- Domestic | International
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- Air Canada
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
Pakistan International Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines
South African Airways
Based at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with secondary hubs in Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thai Airways is the national airline of Thailand and majority-owned by the Thai Ministry of Finance. Using a fleet of narrow and wide-body Airbus, Boeing and ATR aircraft, Thai Airways operates an extensive network of domestic and regional services throughout Thailand and Asia and international services to Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. Thai Airways is a founding member of Star Alliance.
Location of Thai Airways main hub (Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport)
Thai Airways share price
1,327 total articles
102 total articles
Bangkok Airways is planning relatively ambitious fleet and network expansion over the next year as the independent full-service carrier looks to cement its position in the increasingly competitive Thai market.
The carrier plans to add five A320 family aircraft by the end of 2014 and is close to placing orders for new-generation turboprop and narrowbody aircraft. The fleet renewal and expansion could be partially funded by an initial public offering (IPO), which Bangkok Airways now aims to complete by the end of 2013 following a six-month delay.
The upcoming launch of three new low-cost carriers in Thailand, starting with Thai Lion on 04-Dec-2013, provides a potentially challenging backdrop to an IPO. But Bangkok Airways, which has been profitable for four consecutive years, is confident in the long-term viability of its boutique carrier niche. The carrier’s outlook remains relatively bright, boosted by an expanding portfolio of partnerships which will continue to provide high-yielding passengers that keep it largely out of the crossfire between LCCs.
Asian carriers continue to pour additional capacity into Myanmar, building on increases which were initially pursued in 2H2012 after the market quickly opened as economic sanctions which had been in place for two decades were lifted. The Myanmar international market will exceed 110,000 weekly international seats in Jan-2014, representing an increase of about 40% compared to Jan-2012 and almost 130% compared to Apr-2012, when Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won landmark elections.
But so far the additional capacity has outstripped demand. International passenger traffic in Myanmar has grown by about 70% over the past two years – an impressive figure but not sufficient to keep up with the capacity increases. As a result load factors to and from Myanmar are significantly below the global average.
Nearly all of the 14 foreign carriers which were already serving Myanmar before Apr-2012 have seen load factors on their Myanmar routes drop over the last year. The nine foreign carriers which have launched and retained services to Myanmar since the market opened have also so far recorded lower than normal load factors – generally in the 50% to 70% range.
The Myanmar-Thailand market is experiencing another surge of additional capacity as airlines from both countries continue introducing new flights. There will soon be about 23 daily frequencies between the two countries, up from 14 only a couple of months ago and eight from mid-2012.
So far the demand has not kept up with supply, resulting in unsustainably low load factors. The intense competition also has led to a reduction in yields.
But the market could get a reprieve as Myanmar and Thailand prepare to lift visa requirements. By the end of 2013 Thailand is expected to become one of the first visa-free countries for Myanmar. This should unleash a new wave of passenger growth although for at least the short term the market seems set to continue to suffer from over-capacity.
Thai Airways' regional unit Thai Smile is planning major expansion in 4Q2013 including four new international destinations, three of which will be new to the group’s network. The carrier is also increasing capacity on three of its four current international routes but recently dropped three international routes, highlighting some early mistakes in its network.
Thai Smile remains primarily a domestic carrier. It will continue to allocate nearly 80% of its capacity to the domestic market as it adds two domestic routes and expands on several of its seven existing domestic routes.
The expansion is made possible as Thai Smile takes six aircraft over the next five months, doubling the size of its fleet to 12 A320s. Four of the aircraft will be delivered in 4Q2013 with two more to come in early 2014.
Australia’s outbound market has continued to strengthen while its inbound market has been relatively stable in recent years.
Australian residents took a record 8.4 million short-term trips overseas in the financial year ended 30-Jun-2013, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), up from 8 million trips in 2012 and nearly three times the number from 10 years ago when 3.3 million short-term departures were recorded.
This growth has been largely driven by Australia's strong resources fuelled economy, with a high AUD making international travel more appealing for Australians compared to a domestic holiday. The recent substantial fall in the AUD has not yet had time to make its effects felt at the consumer end, but the approximately 15% fall against the USD since Apr-2013 (and against those currencies linked to the USD) will be causing pain to airlines whose reliance on Australian outbound traffic is high.
Despite the AUD losing ground however, there appears to be little lessening of appetite for Australians to travel – at least in the short term.
Asian LCCs create new city-pairs, market dominance. Full-service carriers ignore them at their peril
Low-cost carriers have two primary impacts: first they stimulate new traffic and second they divert traffic from full-service counterparts. Some legacy airlines are adamant that LCCs will not impact their existing network and thus do not need to consider any response to LCCs. This is an old world argument often proved wrong; but even if it had merit it would not excuse legacy carriers from ignoring the opportunistic impact of LCCs: creating new growth.
LCCs are the sole or majority operator on 27% of short-haul capacity at Singapore Changi and 60% at Kuala Lumpur. This potential upside is no small sector to ignore.
One final argument from full-service airlines is that their strategy is to have a frequency advantage. But looking at markets like Singapore-Jakarta where LCCs do not account for the majority of capacity, they do account for the majority of frequencies. Asian growth is still in its infancy but for an indicator of the future could look to Europe, where the region's two biggest airlines are LCCs: Ryanair and easyJet. Moreover they are still growing, unlike their legacy counterparts.
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