International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated (24-Oct-2010) Asia remains "firmly in the lead of the global economic recovery" with strong growth in the region set to continue. The expansion in Asia exceeded expectations in 1H2010 according to the IMF prompting it to revise significantly up its 2010 growth forecast for the region to 8%. IMF added that economies across the region are expanding strongly with China and India leading the way with projected 2010 growth rates of 10.5% and 9.7% respectively. In 2011, Asia’s growth is expected to moderate to a more sustainable pace of 6.8%.
Asia remains firmly in lead of global recovery: IMF
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Thai Airways Group outlook Part 2: Thai Smile to pursue more regional international expansion
The Thai Airways Group is planning further expansion of its regional network in 2017 using its full service subsidiary Thai Smile. Thai Smile has launched or resumed services to eight international destinations in 2017 and is considering the addition of several new destinations in 2017 across Southeast Asia, India and China.
The expansion of the Thai Smile regional international network is critical as Thai Airways expands in Europe. The group’s new strategy relies heavily on increased feed to its Australia, Europe and future North American operation by adding secondary destinations and improving connectivity.
This is the second part of an analysis report on the Thai Airways Group. In the first part CAPA focused on Thai’s long haul operation, in particular expansion plans for Europe. In this part CAPA will examine the outlook and plan for the group’s regional operation, including Thai Smile.
China and France expand flights for airlines, giving China aeropolitical negotiating leverage
China and France have agreed to a significant expansion of flights between their countries. Chinese airlines, which have no more than 50 weekly flights to France, will be permitted to grow to 126 weekly flights within a few years. This tranche of rights will likely double the number of Chinese airlines in France (currently four) and take Chinese airlines to serving French cities other than Paris.
Air France will likely grow partnerships with SkyTeam's China members, although Air France will need to make concessions on its existing China JVs. It is unclear whether Air France will revisit considerations of investing in China Southern.
Chinese airlines will become France's second largest source of foreign long haul flights, and in the long term China could surpass the US. For China, France could become its third largest long haul market after the US and Australia. France is China's third major aeropolitical expansion in recent months, after the UK and Australia. This could give China leverage to press the US and Canada to expand traffic rights, although these markets are far more convoluted.