Developments & Advancements of THAI - AD. 1959 – 1968
1959 - In August 1959, Thai Airways Company (TAC) entered into a partnership with the Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) to create a dynamic new international airline for Thailand. The Thai Government through TAC held 70 percent and SAS 30 percent of shares in Thai Airways International Company Limited, registered with a capital investment of USD 100,000 (2 million baht).
1960 - On May 1st, a propeller-driven Douglas DC-6B with a full load of 60 passengers took off from Bangkok International Airport en route to Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo. This first flight launched THAI's services, which during the first year, linked Bangkok with 11 Asian destinations and utilised a fleet of 3 DC-6B aircraft.
1961 - THAI served over 83,000 passengers during its first year of operations. Royal Orchid Service began to develop its reputation for in-flight excellence, through its unique Thai-style hospitality, attentive cabin attendants and complimentary bar service. The Thai dancing figure logo and traditional silk air hostess uniforms, designed by Prince Kraisingh Vudhijaya, quickly became well known.
1962 x- A 99-seat Convair 990 Coronado jet, the fastest civil airliner at the time, joined the fleet. Their Majesties The King and Queen of Thailand participated in the inaugural flights and flew THAI on various State Visits. THAI's investment capital was quickly increased from 2 million to 40 million baht.
1963 - THAI began pooling flights with other Asian airlines on flights from Bangkok to Hong Kong, Culcutta and Singapore to give passengers added frequency and convenience. From its Head Office located in a 3 storey office building on New Road, THAI operated with a staff of over 600.
1964 - THAI upgraded its fleet again, this time adding its first ultra-modern, 72 seats French-built Caravelle SE-210 jet. The airline continued to grow, carried its 100,000th passengers and opened flights to Osaka.
1965 - THAI recorded its first year of operating profit at 3.9 million baht. From this point onwards, THAI achieved profitable earnings every year, growing by leaps and bounds and has never looked back.
1966 - With a fleet of 5 sleek Caravelle SE-210s, THAI enjoyed the distinction of being the first all-jet airline in Asia. The cockpit crew that initially consisted mainly of expatriates from SAS was gradually replaced by Thai pilots.
1967 - The one millionth passenger was carried. THAI pioneered its highly profitable Bali route, opening up and promoting the destination to tourists from around the world. This insightful move established THAI as an innovative airline, supportive of regional development.
1968 - Spurred by the success of Bali, THAI pioneered flights to Kathmandu, successfully promoting another exotic Asian destination. Seoul and Delhi were also added to the routenet.