The integration of Thai Smile into parent Thai Airways is set to complete by January as the Star Alliance member continues to execute its restructuring plan.
Two Airbus A320s were transferred into the Thai flag-carrier’s fleet in early October, with a further eight to follow by the end of the year. The remaining four A320s in Thai Smile’s fleet will transfer to Thai Airways by Jan. 5, 2024, hiking the number of aircraft taken back to 20.
Speaking at Routes World 2023 here in Istanbul, Head of Scheduling Thiti Arayakhun says the move will increase Thai Airways’ fleet to 69 aircraft and see the airline take over all routes previously served by Thai Smile. Flights to cities including Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Kolkata, India; and Penang, Malaysia, will transfer later this month. “By the end of the winter season, we’ll have more destinations that will be of benefit to our whole network,” Arayakhun says.
However, Arayakhun says that transferring slots from Thai Smile to Thai Airways has proved challenging at some airports in the Asia-Pacific region.
Looking ahead, Europe will be a focus for expansion in 2024, including returning to Milan and Oslo for the first time since before the pandemic, as well as resuming secondary destinations in Japan and China. Thai Airways is also seeking to increase its presence in India and boost capacity to Sydney, and it is considering launching routes to more cities in Australia.
OAG Schedules Analyser data shows that Thai Airways is operating 54% of the seat capacity offered in October 2019 at present, flying to 52 destinations this month. This compares with 63 points at this time in 2019.
Thai Airways recorded a net profit of THB2.2 billion ($62.6 million) during the second quarter of its financial year, against a THB3.2 billion loss in the same period last year. First-half net profit was THB14.8 billion. The airline hopes to exit its rehabilitation plan during the fourth quarter of 2024.
READ MORE: https://bangkokone.news