Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International
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- IATA Code
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- Other airports serving Bangkok
- Bangkok Don Mueang Int'l Airport
- 4000m x 60m
3700m x 60m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
All Nippon Airways
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
Cambodia Angkor Air
Cargolux Airlines International
Cebu Pacific Air
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Hong Kong Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Lao Central Airlines
Myanmar Airways International
Nippon Cargo Airlines
Orient Thai Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines
United Airways Bangladesh
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Air Canada
Air New Zealand
CSA Czech Airlines
Hong Kong Express
South African Airways
Operated by Airports of Thailand, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport was opened in 2006 to replace Don Mueang Airport and is the main international gateway to Bangkok. Hosting domestic, regional and international passenger and cargo traffic from over 40 airlines, the airport is a hub for airlines including Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways.
Location of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International, Thailand
Ground Handlers servicing Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International
1,346 total articles
44 total articles
AirAsia X is close to finalising plans for establishing an affiliate in Thailand, a fast-growing market with favourable conditions for long-haul low-cost operations. The new joint venture project between AirAsia X and Thai partners, which will almost certainly include sister short-haul carrier Thai AirAsia, will put further pressure on the Thai Airways Group.
Thai Airways has already been struggling to fend off increasing LCC competition in the domestic and regional international market, which it has responded to by increasing its involvement in short-haul LCC affiliate Nok Air and launching new hybrid carrier Thai Smile. AirAsia X will bring new LCC competition to some of Thai’s strongest medium-haul markets, particularly Australia, Korea and Japan.
Thai Airways has been studying potential long-haul low-cost options and the launch of an AirAsia X affiliate in Thailand, which will likely commence services within the next year, adds urgency. Thai Airways has already been slightly impacted by Asia’s two other long-haul LCCs, Jetstar and Scoot, but having to compete with a local long-haul LCC represents a much bigger challenge.
This is the second part of a report looking at the Thai Airways Group performance from 2012 and outlook for 2013. The first part looked at Thai’s mainline operation, which has been impacted by unfavourable economic conditions on long-haul routes and faces increasing competition in Asia. This part looks at Thai Smile, a new hybrid unit that the Thai Airways Group launched in Jul-2012.
2013 will be a key year for Thai Smile as the unit rapidly expands and continues to evolve its hybrid model. Thai Smile is adding five international routes over the next month, giving it a network of six international and seven domestic routes. Several more destinations, primarily international, are expected to be added in 4Q2013.
2013 will also likely see Thai Smile transition from being a unit of Thai Airways to a 100%-owned subsidiary. Thai Smile was launched as a unit because using the Thai Airways operators’ certificate (AOC) was seen as a quicker and cheaper solution. But Thai’s board is expected to soon approve a proposal to convert Thai Smile into a subsidiary, which would see it apply for its own AOC.
Thai Airways has returned to the black, posting a small profit for 2012 despite challenging conditions on its long-haul routes. The airline group plans to again focus growth in 2013 on short and medium-haul routes within Asia, where market conditions are generally more favourable. The group now includes three brands, including LCC affiliate Nok and regional hybrid unit Thai Smile – both of which are entirely focused on the fast-expanding Asian market.
But Thai Airways is also now facing challenges on routes within Asia as competition intensifies. Thai AirAsia is pursuing rapid expansion, putting pressure on Thai. Rapid growth at Nok and Thai Smile will help the Thai Airways Group compete against LCCs but Thai Airways will need to reduce costs and make adjustments in order to achieve sustainable profits.
Vietnam’s largest low-cost carrier, VietJet Air, is preparing to quickly expand its international network, taking advantage of growing demand for budget travel to and from Vietnam. The carrier launched its first international route on 10-Feb-2013, Ho Chi Minh-Bangkok, and is looking at several additional potential international destinations in Southeast and North Asia.
Two more international routes as well as additional capacity domestically, where VietJet already has captured a 15% share of the market, are expected in 2013. Vietnam is poised for further LCC domestic and international growth as LCC penetration rates in the country’s domestic and international markets are the lowest among major Southeast Asian countries. VietJet is well positioned, along with a rejuvenated but still very small Jetstar Pacific, to cash in on Vietnam’s LCC boom.
Thai Airways has again adjusted the strategy of its new hybrid unit Thai Smile as the group struggles to determine the ultimate product mix and network. The latest changes include a dedicated business class cabin, which will be introduced in 2013 following delivery of Thai Smile’s seventh A320, and plans to convert the unit into a full subsidiary. Thai Smile also continues to tweak its network, dropping earlier plans to launch services from Bangkok to Hyderabad and Phuket to Singapore.
As Thai Smile represents an experiment for Thai Airways and the overall Asian market, it is not surprising to see almost continual changes to the operation. But all the changes reflect flaws in Thai Smile’s initial business model, which falls between low-cost and full-service. Thai Smile will likely evolve from a hybrid into more of a pure full-service regional subsidiary similar to Singapore Airlines’ SilkAir and Cathay Pacific’s Dragonair.
Thai Airways domestic LCC subsidiary Nok Air is preparing to expand into the regional international market as it rapidly grows its new Boeing 737-800 fleet. The new Nok international operation will launch in early 2013 and fill a critical void in the current Thai Airways Group portfolio, which currently lacks a product for the fast-growing budget end of Thailand’s international market.
Thai Airways originally planned to launch a new ultra low-cost carrier for the regional international market, potentially in partnership with Nok, but the group’s board recently decided against proceeding with this project and establishing a fourth brand. The Thai Airways Group will now stick with its three existing brands – Thai, Thai Smile and Nok. Thai Smile and Nok are both considered hybrid carriers but Nok’s cost structure is significantly lower than Thai Smile and should be sufficient as the group aims to compete more effectively against Thai AirAsia and other LCCs.
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