Thai Airways International has confirmed it will launch Thai Smile Air, a new low-fare airline, with operations set for July 2012.
THAI’s low-fare airline will seek to meet the needs of customers who want frequency of flights and a schedule compatible for connection with THAI flights.
Thai Smile Air will operate out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, and from 2012, using a fleet of 11 Airbus 320 aircrafts with 174 seating capacity.
The aircraft are designed for secondary short-haul routes with less than two hours flying time.
The low-fare airline will initially fly to domestic Thailand destinations such as Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, and Surat Thani, with the view to operating internationally in 2013.
THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand commented: “Thai Smile Air will operate using THAI’s TG airline code, and will be appropriately priced to ensure the product is competitive in the airline market.
“The name Thai Smile Air was selected from more than 2,000 entries from THAI employees, and I think the confirmed name suits our proposed concept of being ‘trendy, friendly, and worthy travel’.
Thai Smile will not affect plans to also launch Thai Tiger Airways, a discount carrier in partnership with Tiger Airways of Singapore.
That carrier will launch “as soon as possible” according to Thai. However, recent difficulties at Tiger Airways – which saw the carrier grounded for a period of weeks over safety fears – may have set plans back.
Tiger Airways has now returned to the skies.