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Article from BTNews 5 SEPTEMBER 2011

Thai Airways to launch low fares airline in 2012

Thai Airways is the latest major carrier which plans to introduce a low fares subsidiary in 2012, following Singapore Airlines who announced back in July that they would take that route.  British Airways has in the past invested with a budget airline (Go) and so have several American carriers, without success.  “Flydubai” was spun out of Emirates, but with the substantial backing of the Dubai government.

Thai Smile Air will operate out of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, and from 2012, using a fleet of 11 Airbus 320 aircraft with 174 seating capacity; ideal for the secondary route markets that have 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 Airways President Mr Piyasvasti comments: "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.  Thai Smile will not affect Thai's plans to also launch Thai Tiger Airways, a discount carrier in partnership with Singapore's Tiger Airways, which will materialise 'as soon as possible.'" www.thaiairways.co.uk

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