Thai Airways International boosts competition this winter to China and Indochina
BANGKOK- The last Thai Airways International Board of Directors meeting is giving a boost to Thai Smile with more international destinations being served by Thai Airways subsidiary. Thai Smile’s expanding network confirms the repositioning of the carrier into a complementary airline to Thai Airways with lower costs and simplified services.
The Board of Directors approved of the opening of the following four new routes for the winter season starting October 27, in order to increase revenue as targeted and meet market demands.
The first Thai Smile route will link Bangkok to Chongqing in the People’s Republic of China. Flights will be operated with an Airbus A320-200 aircraft with three frequencies per week, At the same date, Thai Smile will also launch three weekly frequencies from Bangkok to Changsha in the People’s Republic of China with an Airbus A320-200 aircraft. The frequency will be increased to five flights per week from January 16, 2014.
The most surprising will be the arrival of Thai Smile on the Bangkok-Luang Prabang (Laos) route which will further dent into another lucrative route served by Bangkok Airways. Thai Smile will propose a daily flight from November 16 with an Airbus A320-200. The carrier will then be in competition with two other airlines, Bangkok Airways and Lao Airlines.
While Thai Smile will be positioned in these three routes, Thai Airways confirmed that it will launch a Bangkok-Sendai route in Japan. The new route which has been planned for at least five years will be operated with an Airbus A330-300 with three flights per week, effective 3 December 2013.
Meanwhile, the Board of Director acknowledged Thai Airways Group performance in August 2013. Available Seat-Kilometer (ASK) increased 10.8 percent due to new aircraft deliveries and route adjustments based on passenger demand. Revenue Passenger-Kilometer (RPK) increased 9.9 percent, resulting in an average Cabin Factor of 78.0 percent, which was lower than the same month last year which showed an average of 78.7 percent. The number of passengers carried increased 6.2 percent, compared to the same month last year.
For Thai Smile in August 2013, Cabin Factor averaged 77.0 percent, lower than the same month last year which averaged 82.5 percent. Thai Smile business unit serves 13 routes, compared to four routes last year.
The Board of Directors also approved a(nother) restructuring within the Commercial Department to ensure alignment with the Company’s commercial strategies. The new organizational structure encompasses now five units:
1. Marketing and Revenue Management Department
2. Sales & Distribution Department – Area Thailand and Indochina
3. Sales & Distribution Department – Regional
4. Sales & Distribution Department – Intercontinental
5. Digital Commercial Department