SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
nationthailand

THAI will cover Thai Smile’s routes after budget airline shuts down in January

THAI will cover Thai Smile’s routes after budget airline shuts down in January

As a major stride in its restructuring endeavours, Thai Airways International (THAI) has decided to merge its subsidiary Thai Smile Airways into its operations.

Thai Smile is a budget airline covering domestic and short-haul international flights.

Thai Airways CEO Chai Eamsiri said the restructuring process includes the reacquisition of 20 Airbus A320 aircraft that were used by Thai Smile. This integration is slated to be completed by January next year.

Once the consolidation is finalised, Thai Airways will notify the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) and the Transport Ministry about the transfer of the 20 aircraft.

This shift will culminate in the cancellation of Thai Smile’s aviation operating licence, currently under the airline code WE. Meanwhile, THAI’s code TG will remain the national carrier’s sole identifier.

The primary objective behind this move is to optimise aircraft utilisation. THAI’s average flight duration per day is about 13 hours, while Thai Smile’s flight hours average to about 9 hours.

By efficiently managing the Airbus A320 fleet, Thai Airways expects to reduce costs by as much as 20%.

Despite the discontinuation of Thai Smile from January 2024, THAI will serve all the routes covered by Thai Smile. All staff, including pilots and crew members from Thai Smile, will transition to Thai Airways, donning THAI uniforms. However, the “Thai Smile Airways” name may still be retained, so Thai Airways has a level of flexibility to explore various aviation-related ventures without needing to establish a new entity.

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